The Politics of Electoral Systems

Author:   Michael Gallagher (Professor of Comparative Politics, Trinity College, University of Dublin) ,  Paul Mitchell (Lecturer in Government, London School of Economics and Political Science)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press
ISBN:  

9780199238675


Pages:   666
Publication Date:   10 January 2008
Format:   Paperback
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The Politics of Electoral Systems


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Overview

Electoral systems matter. They are a crucial link in the chain connecting the preferences of citizens to the policy choices made by governments. They are chosen by political actors and, once in existence, have political consequences for those actors. They are an important object of study for anyone interested in the political process, and in this book we subject them to systematic analysis. In addition to some comparative chapters, the book contains full accounts of the operation of electoral systems in 22 countries: France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Russia, Australia, Canada, India, the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa. The book provides detailed analyses of the operation of a diverse set of electoral systems in their national context. Each chapter explains how the electoral system really works in the given country, examining the strategic incentives the system provides to voters, candidates, and parties. All country chapters have a common format and structure. Successive sections analyse: the institutional context; how each electoral system was chosen historically; how the current electoral system operates (the rules, mechanics, and ballot structure); and the political consequences of the current system (the impact on the party system, the internal life of parties, and the impact on parliament and government formation). Each country chapter then contains a final section which focuses on the politicization of electoral institutions. In recent years many countries have changed their electoral systems, either entirely or in part so there is a strong focus on the processes of electoral reform, both historically and prospectively. The book concentrates on the real world 'politics', as well as the 'political science' of electoral systems. The book will be of interest to those concerned with the practical political business of electoral reform. The book contains a wealth of evidence about the performance of various kinds of proportional representation and of non-PR systems. This will be invaluable for anyone interested in the question: 'What would be the best electoral system for my country?'

Full Product Details

Author:   Michael Gallagher (Professor of Comparative Politics, Trinity College, University of Dublin) ,  Paul Mitchell (Lecturer in Government, London School of Economics and Political Science)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Dimensions:   Width: 15.70cm , Height: 4.80cm , Length: 23.40cm
Weight:   1.051kg
ISBN:  

9780199238675


ISBN 10:   0199238677
Pages:   666
Publication Date:   10 January 2008
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Manufactured on demand   Availability explained
We will order this item for you from a manufactured on demand supplier.

Table of Contents

Arend Lijphart: Foreword Part 1: Introduction: Electoral Systems and Electoral Systems Research 1: Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell: Introduction to Electoral Systems 2: Matthew Soberg Shugart: Comparative Electoral Systems Research: The Maturation of a Field and New Challenges Ahead 3: Richard S. Katz: Why are There so many (or so few) Electoral Reforms? Part 2: Single-Member Constituency Systems 4: David M. Farrell and Ian McAllister: Australia: The Alternative vote in a Compliant Political Culture 5: Louis Massicotte: Canada: Sticking to First-past-the-Post, for the Time Being 6: Robert Elgie: France: Stacking the Deck 7: Anthony Heath, Siana Glouharova, and Oliver Heath: India: Two-Party Contests Within a Multi-Party System 8: Paul Mitchell: United Kingdom: Plurality Rule Under Siege 9: Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan, and Jennifer Van Heerde: United States of America: Perpetual Campaigning in the Absence of Competition Part 3: Mixed Systems 10: Thomas Saalfeld: Germany: Stability and Strategy in a Mixed-Member Proportional System 11: Kenneth Benoit: Hungary: Holding Back the Tiers 12: Roberto D'Alimonte: Italy: A Case of Fragmented Bipolarism 13: Steven R. Reed: Japan: Haltingly Toward a Two-Party System 14: Jack Vowles: New Zealand: The Consolidation of Reform? 15: Stephen White: Russia: The Authoritarian Adaptation of an Electoral System Part 4: Closed List Systems 16: Gideon Rahat and Reuven Y. Hazan: Israel: The Politics of Extreme Proportionality 17: Amanda Gouws and Paul Mitchell: South Africa: One Party Dominance Despite Perfect Proportionality 18: Jonathan Hopkin: Spain: Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes Part 5: Preferential List Systems and PR-STV 19: Wolfgang C. Muller: Austria: A Complex Electoral System with Subtle Effects 20: Lieven De Winter: Belgium: Empowering Voters or Party Elites? 21: Peter Siavelis: Chile: The Unexpected (and Expected) Consequences of Electoral Engineering 22: Jorgen Elklit: Denmark: Simplicity Embedded in Complexity (or Is it the Other Way Round?) 23: Tapio Raunio: Finland: One Hundred Years of Quietude 24: Rudy B. Andeweg: The Netherlands: The Sanctity of Proportionality 25: Michael Gallagher: Ireland: The Discreet Charm of PR-STV Part 6: Conclusion 26: Michael Gallagher: Conclusion Appendix A - The Mechanics of Electoral Systems Appendix B - Indices of Fragmentation and Disproportionality Appendix C: Effective Threshold and Effective District Magnitude Appendix D: Values of Indices for 22 Countries at Most Recent Election Appendix E: Web Sites Related to Elections, Election Results, and Electoral Systems

Reviews

It is a treasure trove of information about electoral systems and comprehensively examines how votes get translated into seats across the democratic world --Times Higher Education Supplement This is not just any book on the politics of electoral systems; it is probably the book on the politics of electoral systems ... The authors of these studies are all highly talented scholars, who usually know the comparative literature as well as their countries. In other words, they know what they are talking about, and they have been given reasonably generous space and good editorial guidance with which to do it. The result is truly impressive. --West European Politics This is a very useful book which, not only for its biblical proportions, could justly claim to be a bible of electoral systems --Irish Political Studies Overall, this is a superb collection, produced by scholars who know their subject matter and can present it in a very accessible form...this is a book for which much praise is due. --Parliamentary Affairs


It is a valuable and important work of reference for anyone in academia or policy development with a serious interest in comparative electoral systems * Representation * political science and politics of electoral systems are treated in an understandable and at the same time comprehensive manner for a wide range of national electoral systems ... it is a very useful handbook of electoral systems for both specialists and students alike * Acta Politica * In the foreword to the Gallagher and Mitchell collection, Arend Lijphart describes the book as an outstanding contribution to the electoral systems literature . It is difficult to disagree with this judgement * Political Studies Review * covers a wide variety of electoral systems from theoretical and empirical perspectives - and it does so excellently. This brand new work is destined to become no less than the bible of electoral systems ... this anthology is already a classic * Canadian Journal of Political Science * This excellent book highlights much of the best in electoral systems research. With top-quality authors, rigorous attention to some key issues and first-rate comparative overviews to introduce and summarize the chapters on individual countries, this book will be one of the first to be read by both experts and newcomers to electoral systems. * Adrian Blau, Party Politics * Overall, this is a superb collection, produced by scholars who know their subject matter and can present it in a very accessible form...this is a book for which much praise is due. * Parliamentary Affairs * This is a very useful book which, not only for its biblical proportions, could justly claim to be a bible of electoral systems * Irish Political Studies * This is not just any book on the politics of electoral systems; it is probably the book on the politics of electoral systems ... The authors of these studies are all highly talented scholars, who usually know the comparative literature as well as their countries. In other words, they know what they are talking about, and they have been given reasonably generous space and good editorial guidance with which to do it. The result is truly impressive. * West European Politics * Review from previous edition It is a treasure trove of information about electoral systems and comprehensively examines how votes get translated into seats across the democratic world * Times Higher Education Supplement *


<br> It is a treasure trove of information about electoral systems and comprehensively examines how votes get translated into seats across the democratic world --Times Higher Education Supplement<br> This is not just any book on the politics of electoral systems; it is probably the book on the politics of electoral systems ... The authors of these studies are all highly talented scholars, who usually know the comparative literature as well as their countries. In other words, they know what they are talking about, and they have been given reasonably generous space and good editorial guidance with which to do it. The result is truly impressive. --West European Politics<br> This is a very useful book which, not only for its biblical proportions, could justly claim to be a bible of electoral systems --Irish Political Studies<br> Overall, this is a superb collection, produced by scholars who know their subject matter and can present it in a very accessible form...this is a book for which mu


It is a treasure trove of information about electoral systems and comprehensively examines how votes get translated into seats across the democratic world --Times Higher Education Supplement<br> This is not just any book on the politics of electoral systems; it is probably the book on the politics of electoral systems ... The authors of these studies are all highly talented scholars, who usually know the comparative literature as well as their countries. In other words, they know what they are talking about, and they have been given reasonably generous space and good editorial guidance with which to do it. The result is truly impressive. --West European Politics<br> This is a very useful book which, not only for its biblical proportions, could justly claim to be a bible of electoral systems --Irish Political Studies<br> Overall, this is a superb collection, produced by scholars who know their subject matter and can present it in a very accessible form...this is a book for which much praise is due. --Parliamentary Affairs<br>


Author Information

Michael Gallagher is Professor of Comparative Politics at Trinity College, University of Dublin. He has also been a visiting Professor at New York University and at City University of Hong Kong. His research has covered various aspects of elections, electoral systems and political parties in a comparative context. Paul Mitchell: Graduated with a PhD in political science from the European University Institute, in Florence, Italy. After teaching at University College Galway and Queen's University Belfast, he joined the LSE in 2000 where he teaches party competition and research methods. During 2000/01 Mitchell was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at Harvard University. He is currently working on an ESRC funded study of the 2003 elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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