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Electoral reform in Europe since 1945

By Alan Renwick


This article surveys and analyses democratic electoral reform in Europe since 1945 in order to pursue three issues. First, it seeks understanding of the processes through which electoral systems change. Second, it asks how the incidence of these processes varies over context and time. Third, it investigates whether there are relationships between the nature of the processes through which electoral system change occurs and the electoral reforms that are thereby adopted. The analysis suggests, most importantly, that electoral system changes occur via multiple contrasting processes, that there is a tendency towards increasing impact of mass opinion upon these changes, and that this is beginning to generate a trend towards greater personalisation in the electoral systems adopted. These findings are, however, preliminary; the article is intended to encourage further discussion and research

Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2011
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