The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws, 1945-85

  title={The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws, 1945-85},
  author={Arend Lijphart},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  • Arend Lijphart
  • Published 1990
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
A systematic analysis of the relationships between the main electoral system variables (electoral formula, district magnitude, and ballot structure) and electoral outcomes (the degrees of disproportionality and multipartism) in the 20 Western democracies from 1945 to 1985—representing 32 distinct electoral systems (an electoral system being defined as a set of elections held under basically the same rules)—shows that the effects of both formula and magnitude on proportionality are very strong… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

The political consequences of electoral laws in Latin America and the Caribbean
Abstract This article revisits Arend Lijphart's (1990) re-analysis of Douglas Rae's The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws (1971) using data from Latin America and the Caribbean. The findingsExpand
A Democratic Legislature in the Making
Changes in the rules of the electoral game in established political systems normally can bring about marginal shifts in partisan biases, but in the early days of fragile, new democracies, theExpand
Electoral Thresholds and the Success of Minor Parties
We exploit a natural experiment to study the political consequences of explicit electoral thresholds. The natural experiment in question is an electoral reform in the German federal state of Hesse.Expand
Electoral institutions,cleavage structures,and the number of parties
Theory: A classic question in political science concerns what determines the number of parties that compete in a given polity. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to answering this question,Expand
The Effect of District Magnitude on Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from Two Natural Experiments in Argentina
How does district magnitude affect electoral outcomes? This article addresses this question by exploiting a combination of two natural experiments in Argentina between 1985 and 2015. ArgentineExpand
Electoral Systems and Institutional Choice
This article shows how the ruling party of Korea, the DJP, chose and implemented a strategy to win the 13th National Assembly election of 1988 and explains why that strategy failed. In addition, thisExpand
Does the Electoral System Foster a Predominant Party System? Evidence from Turkey
This paper discusses the role of the electoral system in making the Justice and Development Party (AKP) dominant. Drawing on Sartori’s framework, we first clarify the concept of a predominant partyExpand
Electoral Laws as Political Consequences: Explaining the Origins and Change of Electoral Institutions
▪ Abstract In this review article, I identify the key questions raised by the treatment of electoral systems not as causal influences on party systems but as effects or byproducts of party systems.Expand
Citizens' freedom to choose representatives: Ballot structure, proportionality and “fragmented” parliaments
The analysis of the political consequences of electoral laws has emphasized how individual characteristics of the electoral system (electoral formulas, district magnitude, ballot structure) affectExpand
Electoral System Effects on Women's Representation
This study considers the effects of electoral system structure on women's representation in national legislatures. Research done in Western Europe finds women's representation is positively affectedExpand


A theory of parties and electoral systems
Political parties and elections are the mainsprings of modern democracy. In this classic volume, Richard S. Katz explores the problem of how a given electoral system affects the role of politicalExpand
Electoral Laws, Party Systems, and Elites: The Case of Spain
Using aggregate, survey, and in-depth elite interview data from Spain in the 1970s and 1980s, I demonstrate that the “mechanical” effect of the Spanish electoral law is as strong as that of manyExpand
The Theoretical Limits of Maximum Distortion: Some Analytic Expressions for Electoral Systems
The role of the electoral system in the political process is one which has long concerned political scientists. Traditionally, the emphasis has been on the ‘mechanical’ effects that such systemsExpand
“Effective” Number of Parties
The qEffectiveq Number of Parties: qA Measure with Application to West Europeq Laakso, Markku;Taagepera, Rein Comparative Political Studies; Apr 1, 1979; 12, 1; Proouest pg. 3 “EFFECTIVE” NUMBER OFExpand
Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man
A theory of fair representation is developed that concludes that the current apportionment formula cheats the larger states in favor of the smaller, contrary to the intentions of the founding fathers and compromising the Supreme Court's ""one man, one vote"" rulings. Expand
The field of electoral systems research: A critical survey
Abstract The purpose of this article is to survey and evaluate the development and the current state of the field of electoral systems research. It will treat both the field's strengths and itsExpand
A Short History of Electoral Systems in Western Europe
Part 1: Electoral Systems 1. The Earlier Electoral Systems 2. Party-List Systems of Proportional Representation 3. Proportionality 4. Voting for Individuals 5. The Single Transferable Vote Part 2:Expand
Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences
electoral laws and their political consequences agathon electoral laws and their political consequences agathon series on representation bernard grofman on amazon com free shipping on qualifyingExpand
Seats and Votes: The Effects and Determinants of Electoral Systems
A study of electoral systems which describes the electoral rules of different nations, reviews the state of knowledge about their effects and offers guidelines for designing new systems.
Choosing an Electoral System: Issues and Alternatives
This outstanding volume brings together major arguments on what constitutes the best electoral system, particulary on the relative merits of plurality and proportional representation.