Electoral Systems

Shaun Bowler

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548460
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 Electoral Systems

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This article views electoral systems and electoral system change from an institutional perspective. This perspective lends itself to a rational actor framework that highlights the strategic choices made by voters and political elites. This article has a central organizing theme, which is the way Duverger's Law can be taken to be the canonical statement of what electoral systems (as institutions) do and why the choice of electoral institutions is important. It discusses the changes in electoral systems and even the remarkable lack of change in electoral systems worldwide.

Keywords: electoral systems; change; institutional perspective; rational actor framework; strategic choices; Duverger's Law

Article.  8099 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions

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