Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Political Science
This major new text by two leading authorities in the field provides a state-of-the-art assessment of what we know about voting behaviour and the character, consequences and significance of elections in democratic states. It shows how patterns of electoral behaviour have evolved over time and vary in different countries.
Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, 1990-1999
Author: Joshua A. Tucker
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Political Science
This study demonstrates that in a time of massive change characterized by the emergence of entirely new political systems and a fundamental reorganization of economic life, systematic patterns of economic conditions affecting election results at the aggregate level can in fact be identified during the first decade of post-communist elections in five post-communist countries: Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. A variety of theoretical arguments concerning the conditions in which these effects are more or less likely to be present are also proposed and tested. Analysis is conducted using an original data set of regional level economic, demographic, and electoral indicators, and features both broadly based comparative assessments of the findings across all twenty elections as well as more focused case study analyses of pairs of individual elections.
In the Netherlands, the election programmes of the political parties are assessed for their economic impact by an independent economic bureau. The result of this analysis is published just before the elections take place. In this way, the voter will be protected against political parties that try to win the elections by making popular but unfounded financial promises. Economic Assessment of Election Programmes contains contributions of several distinguished economists and philosophers who consider the gains of this procedure to society. Does the analysis by the Netherlands' Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) raise the democratic quality of the elections? Can we really be confident in the tools of economics? The last section of this volume states the opinion of representatives of the political parties. This part also clarifies why political parties voluntarily participate in this process and how they perceive the role division between the political party and CPB.
From Kosovo to Kabul, the last decade witnessed growing interest in ?electoral engineering?. Reformers have sought to achieve either greater government accountability through majoritarian arrangements or wider parliamentary diversity through proportional formula. Underlying the normative debates are important claims about the impact and consequences of electoral reform for political representation and voting behavior. The study compares and evaluates two broad schools of thought, each offering contracting expectations. One popular approach claims that formal rules define electoral incentives facing parties, politicians and citizens. By changing these rules, rational choice institutionalism claims that we have the capacity to shape political behavior. Alternative cultural modernization theories differ in their emphasis on the primary motors driving human behavior, their expectations about the pace of change, and also their assumptions about the ability of formal institutional rules to alter, rather than adapt to, deeply embedded and habitual social norms and patterns of human behavior.
The Decline of Participatory Democracy and the Emergence of Modern American Politics
Author: Mark L. Kornbluh
Publisher: NYU Press
Public involvement in the electoral process has all but disappeared. Not since World War I has even half the electorate cast ballots in an off-year election. Even at the presidential level, voting has plummeted dismally. Nonvoting is, quite simply, systemic in American politics. It was not always this way. With the integration of America's mass electorate into the electoral system in the 1830s, eligible voters were intensely participatory and remained highly mobilized throughout the nineteenth century. The turning point in American politics came during the first two decades of this century when, from unmatched heights in the 1890s, voter turnouts fell repeatedly election after election. Examining mass political behavior in twenty successive national elections, Why America Stopped Voting is the first work to combine political analysis with social analysis, resulting in a truly interdisciplinary book that places electoral participation within the larger context of American culture and society. A milestone in the evolution of our understanding of electoral politics, Why America Stopped Voting shows that the enduring decline of voter mobilization was gradual, rather than drastic and not attributable to particular political events or simply the notion that "a happy citizenry is politically apathetic." Rather, Kornbluh shows that fundamental social changes that restructured virtually every aspect of American life at the turn of the century were at the heart of the decline in voter participation.
Electoral systems matter. They are a crucial link in the chain connecting the preferences of citizens to the policy choices made by governments. They are chosen by political actors and, once in existence, have political consequences for those actors. They are an important object of study for anyone interested in the political process, and in this book we subject them to systematic analysis. In addition to some comparative chapters, the book contains full accounts of the operation of electoral systems in 22 countries: France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Russia, Australia, Canada, India, the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa. The book provides detailed analyses of the operation of a diverse set of electoral systems in their national context. Each chapter explains how the electoral system really works in the given country, examining the strategic incentives the system provides to voters, candidates, and parties. All country chapters have a common format and structure. Successive sections analyse: the institutional context; how each electoral system was chosen historically; how the current electoral system operates (the rules, mechanics, and ballot structure); and the political consequences of the current system (the impact on the party system, the internal life of parties, and the impact on parliament and government formation). Each country chapter then contains a final section which focuses on the politicization of electoral institutions. In recent years many countries have changed their electoral systems, either entirely or in part so there is a strong focus on the processes of electoral reform, both historically and prospectively. The book concentrates on the real world 'politics', as well as the 'political science' of electoral systems. The book will be of interest to those concerned with the practical political business of electoral reform. The book contains a wealth of evidence about the performance of various kinds of proportional representation and of non-PR systems. This will be invaluable for anyone interested in the question: 'What would be the best electoral system for my country?'
This book gives a full account of past experience, present structures and processes, and probable developments, of the voters- party-electoral systems nexus in twenty-one advanced Western democracies. The analysis is based on an original 1945-2007 comparative data set including all relevant political and institutional variables.