The Roles of Elections

Richard S. Katz

in Democracy and Elections

Published in print December 1997 | ISBN: 9780195044294
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854752 | DOI:
The Roles of Elections

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This chapter examines the role of elections in the democratic process. It aims to provide an alternative structure for considering the expectations about, and evaluative standards for, elections raised by democratic theories. It discusses the equality element of democracy and suggests that though elections play a central role in all theories of democracy, the specific functions of elections vary tremendously from one conception of democracy to another. It concludes that a valid connection between electoral institutions and democratic values must be based on an accurate picture of the options available in the design of those institutions and of the consequences of choosing one option rather than another.

Keywords: elections; democratic process; democratic theories; equality; electoral institutions; democratic values

Chapter.  3114 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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