Chapter

Electoral Engineering: Limits and Possibilities

Arend Lijphart

in Electoral Systems and Party Systems

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780198273479
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191684050 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198273479.003.0007

Series: Comparative European Politics

Electoral Engineering: Limits and Possibilities

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This chapter discusses the practical significance of the analyses of electoral systems for electoral engineering. The findings of the study reveal that the links between the electoral system and the four characteristics of party systems are much weaker than those between the electoral system and the degree of disproportionality. This indicates that in the context of electoral engineering, the electoral system is not as strong an instrument for shaping the party system. The chapter recommends several specific strategies that may be used as models for electoral engineering. These include the establishment of two-tier districting for proportional representation (PR) systems, two-tier districting of a different type for plurality and majority systems, and national legal thresholds.

Keywords: electoral engineering; electoral system; party system; disproportionality; political districting; proportional representation; national legal thresholds

Chapter.  4958 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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