In political science literature one may find many studies of single parliaments, as well as multi-author works containing chapters dedicated to a series of national legislative assemblies. The added value of this new volume is its comparative perspective, which allows the authors to highlight analogies and discrepancies among different parliamentary institutions and better explain the many ways in which they operate. The book, in particular, focuses on five parliaments belonging to as many democratic political systems, all of which are important and in some respect "paragdimatic", in that they correspond to different forms or variants of government: presidentialism (United States), semi-presidentialism (the French Fifth Republic), parliamentarism (cabinet government in Great Britain, chancellor government in Germany, traditional parliamentarism in Italy). This precise and original analysis looks at the pulsing heart of democracy.
Gianfranco Pasquino is Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna and also Adjunct Professor of Politics at the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University.
Riccardo Pelizzo has earned a doctorate in Political Science at the Johns Hopkins University and is currently assistant professor of Political Science at the Singapore Management University.