Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences

Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences

Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences

Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences

Synopsis

..". a usful volume on the impact of electoral laws...includes a very good bibliography and index...establishes a broader international and interdisciplinary perspective on the methods of representation." - American Political Science Review

Excerpt

The aim of this book is to provide an overview of recent research on electoral laws and their political consequences by scholars who have helped shape the field. After several decades of virtual neglect (except for Douglas Rae’s seminal work), the comparative study of electoral systems is undergoing a lively revival. in the past five years, over a dozen books on electoral systems have been written by scholars from many nations and from many disciplines (see reviews of a number of these in Lijphart, 1984a). Political geography, long moribund, is undergoing a remarkable renaissance (see reviews in Grofman, 1982d; Taylor, Gudgin, and Johnston, this volume). Social choice theorists have begun to link axiomatic criteria for representative systems to practical political issues in choosing an election system (see especially Brams and Fishburn, 1983,1984a, 1984b; Fishburn, this volume). in the United States, sparked in large part by the efforts of the section on Representation and Electoral Systems of the American Political Science Association, the history of American electoral experimentation with proportional representation, weighted voting, and limited voting is being rediscovered (see Grofman 1982a; Weaver, this volume).

This renewed scholarly attention to the study of electoral systems is long overdue. the late Stein Rokkan wrote as recently as 1968, “Given the crucial importance of the organization of legitimate elections in the development of the mass democracies of the twentieth century, it . . .

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