The Comparison of Electoral Systems' Functions with a Special Focus on Mixed Systems

Abstract:

Both PR and plurality/majority systems have positive as well as negative effects. Since the 1980s, a discussion has come up whether or not mixed electoral systems could combine advantages of both types. However, the hitherto existing contributions to this question are insufficient. It is the project’s aim to deal with this question. By now, there is no generally accepted definition of ‘mixed electoral systems’. Some authors even deny the existence of such systems. Thus, the first step is doing basic groundwork in this field. Further, there is a lack of indicators for the measurement of electoral systems’ functions. This is especially the case for advantages of plurality systems. Third, former studies often lack to search for which variables exactly cause the effects of certain electoral systems. Here, systematic studies shall identify factors which are crucial for positive or negative effects of (mixed) electoral systems. Therefore, a combination of small and large n studies is proposed. A case study focuses on the German ‘personalisierte Verhältniswahl’ that is often described as a positive example for mixed electoral systems. From this case study, we can get a deeper understanding of which elements of the mixture lead to the described positive effects and under which conditions this is the case. The large n part refers to a broad international comparison of mixed electoral systems in order to identify variables of mixed electoral systems’ design which are statistically relevant for positive or negative effects.

 

Project Director:

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Eric Linhart
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, Germany

Project Assistant:

Johannes Raabe
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, Germany

Project Funding:

DFG

Project Duration:

2012-2015