- The Oxford Handbooks of political science
- About the Contributors
- Elaborating the “New Institutionalism”
- Rational Choice Institutionalism
- Historical Institutionalism
- Constructivist Institutionalism
- Network Institutionalism
- Old Institutionalisms
- The State and State-Building
- Development of Civil Society
- Economic Institutions
- Exclusion, Inclusion, and Political Institutions
- Analyzing Constitutions
- Comparative Constitutions
- American Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
- Comparative Federalism
- Territorial Institutions
- Executives—The American Presidency
- Executives In Parliamentary Government
- Comparative Executive–Legislative Relations
- Public Bureaucracies
- The Welfare State
- The Regulatory State?
- Legislative Organization
- Comparative Legislative Behavior
- Comparative Local Governance
- Judicial Institutions
- The Judicial Process and Public Policy
- Political Parties In and Out of Legislatures
- Electoral Systems
- Direct Democracy
- International Political Institutions
- International Security Institutions: Rules, Tools, Schools, or Fools?
- International Economic Institutions
- International NGOs
- Encounters With Modernity
- About Institutions, Mainly, but not Exclusively, Political
- Thinking Institutionally
- Political Institutions—Old and New
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article views electoral systems and electoral system change from an institutional perspective. This perspective lends itself to a rational actor framework that highlights the strategic choices made by voters and political elites. This article has a central organizing theme, which is the way Duverger's Law can be taken to be the canonical statement of what electoral systems (as institutions) do and why the choice of electoral institutions is important. It discusses the changes in electoral systems and even the remarkable lack of change in electoral systems worldwide.
Shaun Bowler is Professor and interim Chair in the Department of Political Science, University of California, Riverside.
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