Electoral and party systems in Europe

Authored by: Pedro Riera

Routledge Handbook of European Politics

Print publication date:  January  2015
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415626750
eBook ISBN: 9781315755830
Adobe ISBN: 9781317628361


 Download Chapter



Does anyone believe that the United States would remain a two-party system if it adopted Israel’s electoral rules? Can we satisfactorily explain the presence of almost absolute party unity within the Spanish Parliament without taking into account the closed-list system employed to elect its members? Despite the underdevelopment of the field of comparative electoral systems observed by Arend Lijphart in 1985, the clear correct answer to these two questions is no. It is important to study electoral systems because they affect the answers to these questions, among others (Taagepera 2007b). Nowadays, there is no longer a lack of comparative studies on electoral rules; in fact, in Matthew Shugart’s view, the field could already be considered mature as of a few years ago (Shugart 2005). However, there is still room for improvement. In this chapter, I will briefly discuss the state of the art of this research. To this end, I will first elaborate on the definition and classification of electoral systems. I will then conduct a longitudinal review of the most important contributions in the field, starting with classical approaches and then focusing on more recent developments.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.