Choosing an Electoral System <sup>1</sup>

Andrew Reynolds

in Electoral Systems and Democratization in Southern Africa

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295105
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Choosing an Electoral System  1

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This is the third of four chapters that discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the research on democratization in southern Africa that is described in the book, and deals with the theoretical debate underlying the choice of electoral system in divided societies. The five sections of the chapter are: The Importance of Electoral Systems; The Range of Electoral Systems; What Criteria Should Electoral Systems Aim to Fulfil?; The Debate over Electoral Systems and Conflict Management in Africa (single-member district plurality, proportional representation, the alternative vote in multi-member districts (the Horowitz proposal for South Africa); and Conclusion. The overall discussion includes reference not only to four of the country case studies presented in the rest of the book (Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) but also to numerous other countries worldwide.

Keywords: Africa; alternative vote in multi-member districts; choice of electoral system; conflict management; criteria; democratization; electoral systems; Namibia; proportional representation; single-member district plurality system; South Africa; southern Africa; Zambia; Zimbabwe

Chapter.  6722 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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