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Electoral Engineering: Voting Rules and Political Behavior / Edition 1

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Recent decades have witnessed multiple attempts at electoral engineering designed to improve political representation and alter voting behavior. Norris's study compares and evaluates two broad schools of thought about this process: rational choice institutionalism and cultural modernization. The former claims that by changing the incentives offered by electoral rules, reformers have the capacity to alter the behavior of parties, politicians, and citizens, thereby solving multiple social problems, whether ethnic conflict, improving turnout, strengthening voter-party ties, generating democratic accountability, or boosting women's representation. The alternative theories are more cautious about the capacity of electoral engineering to achieve these goals and suggest that such rules adapt to, rather than alter, human behavior. To examine these accounts Norris compares new survey evidence from some three dozen parliamentary and presidential elections in a wide range of established and newer democracies, spanning the globe. She concludes that rules do matter for the choice of electoral systems. Norris integrates the extensive literature on electoral systems with studies of voting behavior and political representation; develops a clear theoretical framework supported by original empirical research based on new cross-national data; presents the findings in an accessible, stimulating, and nontechnical manner; covers a broad sweep of nations around the globe; and provides results of interest for political scientists and policymakers in many countries.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ultimately, by combining models based on incentive theory and cultural modernization, Norris provides an innovative and important empirical contribution to the rational-choice institutionalism literature. This book would serve well scholars seeking a broad and comprehensive overview of the debate between structure and culture as explanations of political behavior, as well as those seeking a more rigorous theoretical and empirical approach to incentive-based models of political behavior on a comparative basis." Perspectives on Political Science

"Like earlier books by this prolific author, this book is a masterpiece of synthesis, original theorizing, and empirical analysis of an impressively large number and variety of cases. Pippa Norris has a great ability to deal with big subjects in a very creative way." Arend Lijphart, University of California, San Diego

"This book looks at public opinion data linking attitudes, party choices, and electoral systems in ways that the game theory literature usually fails to come to grips with. It is a major contribution to the electoral systems literature and to the comparative politics literature in general." Bernard Grofman, University of California, Irvine

"In this highly innovative book, Pippa Norris combines institutional and survey data from 32 widely different countries to assess the possibilities and limitations of implanting democracy through institutional engineering. As the international community increasingly tries to remake political systems from Albania to Zimbabwe, this study will be an important touchstone for policy-makers and analysts alike." Richard S. Katz, The Johns Hopkins University

"Norris is one of only a small handful of political scientists who could meet the ambitions of a study such as this, and she has done it with her usual aplomb!" David Farrell, University of Manchester

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521536714
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2003
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politic
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Pt. I Introduction
1 Do Rules Matter? Structure versus Culture 3
2 Classifying Electoral Systems 39
3 Evaluating Electoral Systems 66
Pt. II The Consequences for Voting Behavior
4 Party Systems 81
5 Social Cleavages 96
6 Party Loyalties 126
7 Turnout 151
Pt. III The Consequences for Political Representation
8 Women's Representation 179
9 Ethnic Minorities 209
10 Constituency Service 230
Pt. IV Conclusions
11 The Impact of Electoral Engineering 249
Bibliography 265
Notes 305
Index 347
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