Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in Post-Communist Europe


Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in Post-Communist Europe assesses the influence of electoral systems on political change in twenty post-communist European states between 1990 and 2002. In examining the effects of institutional structures, it is a companion volume to the collective monograph on their causes entitled Embodying Democracy: Electoral System Design in Post-Communist Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2002). Changing patterns of electoral linkage between representatives and citizens are a central feature of political transformation in the post-communist region, and electoral system design plays a key role in shaping these patterns. Sarah Birch finds that even in the early stages of democratization, electoral institutions have systematic effects that contribute in important ways to the formation of representative structures. 'Party-enabling' aspects of electoral laws such as list proportional representation tend to foster popular inclusion in politics and institutionalized party systems, whereas 'politician-enabling' rules such as single-member districts and ballots that allow voters to select individuals often favour the development of weakly structured systems and high levels of popular exclusion from the representative process.

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