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Rules, Choice and Strategy
The Political Economy of Italian Electoral Reform. The Locke Institute Series
The design of an electoral system is fundamental to any democracy. It is through electoral systems that the commitment of a society to a political system is achieved. The peculiarities of an electoral system assume significant importance in periods in which democratic polities seem caught between a crisis of confidence in their representative systems and mass apathy over the product of government - as has recently occurred in Italy. Electoral rules constrain available choice alternatives and therefore have profound effects on governance of a country since different electoral rules generate different outcome patterns even with no change in the identity of candidates. The two most common electoral schemes are proportional representation and plurality. The theoretical debate concerning these two systems is of intense interest not least because of the importance of finding a stable, democratic and representative institutional structure that can be employed worldwide. This topical book analyses the change of electoral rules in Italy from proportional representation toward plurality.
While Italy is used as the illustrative case, the analysis has far-ranging theoretical and practical implications, and will therefore be of interest to academics and researchers of political economy, constitutionalism and public choice.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'The book reaches well beyond an evaluation of the immediate public choice consequences of operating under alternative voting rules... This book offers insights into the dynamics of electoral reform and the political consequences of such reform that should fascinate all serious students of public choice and political science.' -- From the foreword by Charles K. Rowley, The Locke Institute and George Mason University, US