Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral Systems / Edition 1

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Popular elections are at the heart of representative democracy. Thus, understanding the laws and practices that govern such elections is essential to understanding modern democracy. In this book, Professor Cox views electoral laws as posing a variety of coordination problems that political actors must solve. Under plurality rule, for example, not every leftist aspirant for the presidency can run at once, if the Left is to have a good chance of winning. But although all leftists will benefit from unifying behind a single candidate, they may not agree on which candidate that should be. Analogous coordination problems - and with them the necessity of negotiating withdrawals, strategic voting, and other species of strategic coordination - arise in all electoral systems. Although the classics of electoral studies have dealt with issues of coordination, this is the first book that employs a unified game-theoretic model to study strategic coordination worldwide and that relies primarily on constituency-level rather than national aggregate data in testing theoretical propositions about the effects of electoral laws. This is also the first book that considers not just what happens when political forces succeed in solving the coordination problems inherent in the electoral system they face but also what happens when they fail.
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Editorial Reviews

Olga Shvetsova
This book is a unique contribution to the fields of comparative politics and formal political theory... this book is of potential interest for readers in all fields of political science... Making Votes Count will certainly become a required reading in many graduate and undergraduate semimars on comparative political institutions and positive political theory.
— Political Science Quarterly
From the Publisher
"Every serious scholar of political systems should read this book....Cox is a master when it comes to explaining ideas generated by a logic-based theory....this book is a very important contribution to our knowledge about electoral systems. It will be the major book in this area for some time to come." Melvin Hinch, American Political Science Review

"...this is a great book, a must for all those interested in the study of elections. Cox powerfully demonstrates the fruitfulness of looking at the impact of electoral systems from the perspective of formal theory, provided this is combined with solid empirical analysis." André Blais, Canadian Journal of Political Science

"This book is a unique contribution to the fields of comparative politics and formal political theory. It offers a model integrating many diverse aspects of electoral competition that together bring into existence systems of national poltical parties. Gary Cox combines social choice theory, public choice theory, spatial theory, and the institutional approach to electoral studies to reach a new level of understanding of political competition in democracies. Gary Cox's new book is not only a theoretical study, but also a useful reference on comparative electoral institutions. ...the suthor also draws attention to such often overlooked institutions as rules of candidate nomination and party registration." Olga Shvetsova, Political Science Quarterly

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of tables and figures
Series Editors' Preface
1 Introduction 3
2 Duverger's propositions 13
3 On electoral systems 37
4 Strategic voting in single-member single-ballot systems 69
5 Strategic voting in multimember districts 99
6 Strategic voting in single-member dual-ballot systems 123
7 Some concluding comments on strategic voting 139
8 Strategic voting, party labels, and entry 151
9 Rational-entry and the conservation of disproportionality: evidence from Japan 173
10 Putting the constituencies together 181
11 Electoral institutions, cleavage structures, and the number of parties 203
12 Coordination failures and representation 225
13 Coordination failures and dominant parties 238
14 Coordination failures and realignments 251
15 Conclusion 269
App. A Formulaic structures in 77 democracies, circa 1992 279
App. B Notation and proofs for Chapter 6 303
App. C Data and sources for Chapter 11 308
References 312
Subject Index 329
Author Index 339
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