The choice of candidate-centered electoral systems in new democracies (2017.03)

2017.03.01
  • 저자 : Jae Hyeok Shin
  • 학술지명 : Party Politics
  • 발행처 : Sage Publishing
  • 권호 : 23(2)
  • 게재년월 : 2017년 03월
  • 영문 초록 : Most studies of candidate-centered electoral systems, that encourage politicians to seek personal votes, have focused on the impact of such institutions. This paper focuses instead on their origins in new democracies. It hypothesizes that voter demands for local and individual benefits and party access to government resources for such benefits are likely to lead politicians to choose a candidate-centered electoral rule during a transition to democracy. Cross-national quantitative studies of 97 new democracies from 1950 to 2008 support these claims, revealing that (1) the poorer the average voter, the more likely a candidate-centered electoral institution will be adopted and (2) where incumbent governing parties are more influential in selecting new rules, candidate-centered electoral systems are more likely to be selected. Nonetheless, (3) in highly developed countries even those governing party members tend to opt for a party-centered system; conversely, (4) in extremely less-developed countries even opposition politicians, who would otherwise select a party-centered electoral system, are likely to choose a candidate-centered system if they are dominant at the time of writing the new institution. These findings shed light on the endogeneity of electoral systems and suggest a powerful impact of social context on institutional choice. The paper also contributes more generally to theories of electoral system choice.

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