All CDDRL Multimedia

A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective

  • Arend Lijphart ,
  • Matthew Shugart


American democracy differs greatly from other democracies around the world.  But is the American way more or less efficacious than comparable democracies in Asia, Latin America, or Europe?  What if the United States had a prime minister instead of (or in additional to) a president, or if it had three or more parties in Congress instead of two?  Would there be more partisan animosity and legislative gridlock or less?  These are the kinds of questions that thinking about U.S. government in comparative perspective helps us to analyze.



Arend Lijphart

Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of California, San Diego

Matthew Shugart

Professor of Political Science, University of California, Davis