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date: 29 July 2017

Abstract and Keywords

A long tradition of empirical studies has focused on the consequences of electoral systems on party systems. A number of contributions have turned this relationship upside down by postulating that it is the parties that choose electoral systems and manipulate the rules of elections. The most remote shaping of innovative electoral rules, the choice of electoral systems in new democracies, and further electoral reforms in well-established regimes can be explained on the basis of political parties’ relative strength, expectations, and strategic decisions. In a broader institutional context, political parties can also trade off electoral systems with choices and changes of other institutional rules.

Keywords: political parties, electoral system choice, Duverger’s propositions, micromega rule, plurality rule, multimember districts, proportional representation

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