Cross‐Country Comparisons: Legislative and Executive Inclusion

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

 Cross‐Country Comparisons: Legislative and Executive Inclusion

Show Summary Details


A comparative analysis is given of both actual and simulated election results of the five country case studies (from Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) presented in the book, along a number of dimensions relating to system inclusiveness: party system dynamics, disproportionality, executive formation, and descriptive representation. Chief among the questions addressed are: what determines the index of disproportionality, how representative are comparative parliaments in terms of the presence of women and ethnic minorities, what are the electoral system implications for voter accessibility, does the chosen system alleviate or accentuate entrenched and geographically concentrated party fiefdoms, how competitive or frozen is the party system, is there an electoral system effect on cabinet formation, and does the type of proportional representation (PR) used matter to the final results? The chapter concludes with a detailed discussion of the Horowitz alternative vote in multi-member districts (AV-MMD) proposal across all five case study countries, and an institutional choice-based analysis of the interaction between negotiated transitions to democracy and the type of electoral system chosen for the new democratic constitution. Overall, the chapter demonstrates that in the context of institutional design in southern Africa, PR systems outperform their plurality–majority alternatives in almost all the categories of analysis.

Keywords: alternative vote in multi-member districts system; cabinet formation; case studies; comparative analysis; democratization; disproportionality; election results; electoral systems; ethnic minorities; executive formation; frozen party systems; Horowitz system; inclusiveness; institutional choices; majoritarian systems; Malawi; Namibia; party fiefdoms; party system dynamics; plurality systems; proportional representation; representation; South Africa; southern Africa; voter accessibility; women; Zambia; Zimbabwe

Chapter.  14387 words. 

Subjects: Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.