Daniel M. Smith
What is the relationship between electoral rules and voter turnout? To answer this question, this chapter begins with the more general question of why voters turn out on Election Day at all. The chapter then reviews the main theoretical arguments and empirical evidence of how electoral rules affect voters’ turnout decisions, as well as the puzzles that have emerged from that literature. It then highlights some recent theoretical, methodological, and empirical advancements using subnational data and electoral system reforms that have refined our understanding about the interaction between electoral rules, competitiveness, and turnout. Finally, the chapter explores new and promising directions for further research.
Jeffrey A. Segal
The question of whether partisan or ideological preferences influence judicial decision-making has been the subject of numerous studies. Due to the strong correlation between party and ideology, scholars have often chosen to examine the combined effects of party and ideology. Recently, however, and in spite of the fact that correlation between party and ideology is growing, scholars have begun to investigate the independent effects of party and ideology by studying a unique group of election law cases, where partisan and ideological considerations often conflict. There has also been an emerging interest in identifying the causes behind the increased polarization of the Court. The increased polarized of the Senate is one posited theory.
Many scholars hold that populism and constitutionalism cannot go together: populists, it is claimed, are against institutions in general, and against checks and balances as provided for in constitutions in particular. Instead, so the conventional wisdom goes, they assert an unrestrained popular will, or an unmediated relationship between a charismatic leader and the people. This chapter disputes this picture, building on a definition of populism whereby populists are not just anti-elitists, but also necessarily anti-pluralists, in order to argue that populists can coherently write constitutions to fix a supposed foundational popular will. In that sense, populists do not have to be uncomfortable with a usage of constitutions as a set of constraints; but they are opposed to constitutions as pluralism-enabling and pluralism-preserving devices (and, more particularly, as offering democracy-constitutive rights which could be used to change the populists’ preferred constitutional identity).