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date: 13 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the mixed-member type of electoral systems in the German context. It sketches the unique historical and political circumstances that led to this novel type of system. It furthermore stresses the highly proportional nature of the German mixed-member system that results from a number of factors including a mechanism that links both tiers of election and compensates for disproportionality at the plurality tier. The chapter shows that the comparatively high legal threshold of 5 percent so far has reconciled the conflicting goals of proportionality and party system concentration, but that this effect is contingent upon social and political contexts. The chapter furthermore shows that the German mixed-member system facilitates personalized accountability at the margins in a partisan context.

Keywords: mixed-member systems, Germany, structure, origins, performance, proportionality, party system, candidates

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