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Advances in the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems

  • Arend Lijphart (a1)

The twelve books under review, written by scholars representing many different disciplines and nationalities, are proof that the comparative analysis of electoral systems has made significant progress in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is still not a well-developed field, but it has clearly become a less underdeveloped one. Renewed interest in research on electoral systems has been stimulated by major changes in election rules—usually in the direction of proportional representation—that have been adopted in several countries, and by a vigorous debate on electoral reform in countries that now rely mainly on the plurality method. The United States is the principal deviant case. Two election systems frequently serve as models for electoral reform: the Irish single transferrable vote and the West German additional-member system.

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1 Rae, , The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967; rev. ed., 1971).

2 Rokkan, , “Elections: Electoral Systems,” in Sills, David L., ed., International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York: Macmillan, Free Press, 1968), Vol. V, 621, at 17.

3 Sartori, , “Political Development and Political Engineering,” in Montgomery, John D. and Hirschman, Albert O., eds., Public Policy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968), Vol. XVII, 261–98, at 273.

4 Duverger, , Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State, trans, by Barbara, and North, Robert (New York: Wiley, 1963), 217.

5 Rae (fn. 1), 42–43, 185–88.

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World Politics
  • ISSN: 0043-8871
  • EISSN: 1086-3338
  • URL: /core/journals/world-politics
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