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Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics (6th edn)

Daniele Caramani
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date: 23 June 2024

p. 19711. Electoral systems and representationlocked

p. 19711. Electoral systems and representationlocked

  • Orit Kedar


This chapter focuses on elections and representation. The first part focuses on electoral systems. It first presents the building blocks of electoral systems. Drawing on these building blocks, it then discusses the underlying principles of the two main families of electoral systems, namely majoritarian and proportional representation, and presents key variants within each family. The chapter then proceeds to discuss how different features of electoral systems affect the behaviour of both voters and politicians. The second part of the chapter addresses representation. It first lays out four different aspects of representation, followed by an elaboration on one particularly central aspect—substantive representation, which addresses the way representatives and government act for voters. Finally, the chapter’s third part analyses the trade-offs embedded in different electoral systems and discusses how different electoral systems promote some aspects of representation as well as other democratic values, and compromise others.

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