The Evolution of Electoral and Party Systems in the Nordic Countries

PDF-file by Bernard Grofman

The Evolution of Electoral and Party Systems in the Nordic Countries PDF ebook download This work discusses and shows through statistics how the choice and design of electoral system/changes in electoral systems can have significant and lasting direct consequences for party proliferation, proportionality of party representation, racial representation, within-party and cross-party competition and collusion, voter turnout, and incentives to cultivate a personal vote through particularistic appeals. Bernard Grofman has edited or co-edited sixteen books, three with Arnold Lijphart. Two of their collaborations won the Hallett Prize of the American Political Science Association (the prize is granted for works that have proved to have a lasting impact in the field, at least ten years beyond the date of publication: Lijphart and Grofman, Choosing an Electoral System, 1984; Grofman and Lijphart, Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences, 1986). This volume is one of four collections on electoral systems originating in Conferences on Political Economy at the University of California at Irvine. The others deal with elections using the single non-transferable vote (Michigan, 1999), single transferable vote (Michigan, 2000), and mixed-member arrangements (Oxford, 2000). Many political scientists in English-speaking countries tend to think of Proportional Representation in terms of the underlying concepts of proportionality and examples that institutionalize it in relative pure form, such as Israel. Reading these chapters, one gains a more sophisticated understanding of the variety and complexities of real PR systems, including the interaction of geographical representation with the principle of proportionality, the practical stakes behind the seemingly technical choice of allocation formulas, the origin of the modified St. Lagua1/2 divisors, the functioning of apparentement and other vote-pooling devices, the interaction of strategic advantage and normative principles in the development of the Proportional Representation systems, the role of partisan manipulation, etc. A model of comparative, cumulative political science, and of embedded system research design, the book is part of a major project by both Grofman and Lijphart to bring a vast improvement in rigor and systemicity in the analysis of electoral laws and their impacts. Each chapter offers a narration of the history of, and political (largely partisan) maneuvering behind, the evolution of electoral laws in the five Nordic countries. In this respect, it is in the tradition of A Short History of Electoral Systems in Western Europe, by Carstairs, 1980 (out of print). Yet, it differs from that work, and represents a significant advance on it, by focusing on fewer countries and thus going into greater depth and wider history span."

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