Annick Laruelle

Laruelle, Annick, and Federico Valenciano, 2008, Voting and Collective Decision-Making: Bargaining and Power, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York.


  • Chapter 1 presents the basic set-theoretic notation and some combinatorics, along with the notation and terminology on dichotomous (acceptance/rejection) voting rules used throughout the book. This chapter also contains two brief sections devoted to the basics of expected utility theory and a summary overview of a few basic concepts of game theory.
  • In Chapter 2 a few seminal papers are briefly and critically reviewed, and the basic distinction in this book between 'take-it-or-leave-it' and 'bargaining' committees is introduced.
  • Chapter 3 is devoted to 'take-it-or-leave-it' committees, a probabilistic model of which allows us: (i) to address the question of the conceptual and analytical distinction between the notions of success and decisiveness; (ii) to provide a common perspective in which several 'power indices' from the literature can be seen as variations of two basic ideas; and (iii) to address the question of the optimal voting rule in a take-it-or-leave-it committee from two points of view: egalitarianism and utilitarianism.
  • Chapter 4 deals with bargaining committees. A game theoretic model is proposed, and the question of the players's expectations is addressed first from a cooperative-axiomatic point of view, and then from a non cooperative point of view. This chapter concludes with a recommendation for bargaining committees of representatives.
  • In Chapter 5 the different rules used in the EU Council and some more recent proposals are examined from the point of view of the models presented in Chapters 3 and 4. A section with exercises at the end of each chapter is intended to provide readers with a means to check how well they have understood the chapters.

Reviews of the book

  • 2012, Lindner, Ines, Social Choice and Welfare 38, 161-179.
  • 2010, Josselin, Jean-Michel, Public Choice 143 (1-2), 259-261.
  • 2010, Zwicker, William, Games and Economic Behavior 69, 517-522.
  • 2009, Loewen, Peter John, Canadian Journal of Political Science 42, 818-819. 


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