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A Theory of Parties and Electoral Systems

Richard S. Katz

Publication Year: 1980

Political parties and elections are the mainsprings of modern democracy. In this classic volume, Richard S. Katz explores the problem of how a given electoral system affects the role of political parties and the way in which party members are elected. He develops and tests a theory of the differences in the cohesion, ideological behavior, and issue orientation of Western parliamentary parties on the basis of the electoral systems under which they compete. A standard in the field of political theory and thought, The Theory of Parties and the Electoral System contributes to a better understanding of parliamentary party structures and demonstrates the wide utility of the rationalistic approach for explaining behavior derived from the self-interest of political actors.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Contents

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pp. vii-ix

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

POLITICAL parties and elections go hand in hand in modem democracies, Modem mass parties were created to contest elections and electoral systems exist to structure competition among parties, Parties and elections are inexorably linked, yet we know very little of the relationship between them. ...

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1. Parties, Elections, and Democracy

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pp. 1-16

MODERN democracy is party democracy; the political institutions and practices that are the essence of democratic government in the Western view were the creations of political parties and would be unthinkable without them.1 If asked to define Western democracy, one could do little better than to say that it is the selection of major political decision makers through free elections ...

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2. Electoral Law

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pp. 17-34

ELECTORAL law plays a central role in the theory to be developed here. The motivating assumption is that the principal, and certainly the immediate, object of each parliamentary candidate is to be successful personally in securing a legislative seat. Rationality takes on relevance because there are normally more aspirants to parliamentary office ...

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3. An Extensive Test

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pp. 35-59

ONCE a theory has been developed deductively, it must be tested empirically. In doing this, one may pursue either, or both, of two complementary strategies. On the one hand, the theory may be tested intensively. The greater the number of hypotheses derived from the theory that can be confirmed, the greater will be the confidence that can be placed in the theory, ...

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4. An Intensive Test: Electoral Experience

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pp. 60-83

THE extensive test of the predictions based on electoral law revealed results that were clearly confirmatory. If some of the correlations observed were less than spectacular, many others were remarkably strong, especially in light of the simplicity of the theory and the quality of the data. In part, as illustrated by the problem of properly coding the intraparty preference vote ...

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5. An Intensive Test: Campaign and Nomination

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pp. 84-99

PRECEDING the balloting stage of an election, but primarily conditioned by expectations of voter behavior and the effects of the application of electoral laws, are the nomination and campaign stages of the electoral process. In considering campaigns and nominations, this chapter has two objectives. ...

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6. An Intensive Test: Verification

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pp. 100-114

IN the preceding chapters, the electoral systems of Great Britain, Ireland, and Italy have been examined in the light of a theory of candidate rationality to the point at which specific predictions have been made regarding the nature of parliamentary parties in these countries. This chapter concludes the intensive test by doing two things. ...

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7. Concluding Remarks

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pp. 115-124

RETURNING to the three questions about party systems raised in chapter 1—number, orientation, and internal unity—the findings of this analysis regarding the link between electoral system and party system may be summarized quite briefly. As in earlier studies, the intensive analysis of three systems showed that the number of parties competing ...

Appendix A. Sampling

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pp. 125-126

Appendix B. Questionnaire

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pp. 127-132

Notes

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pp. 133-146

Index

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pp. 147-151


E-ISBN-13: 9781421403212
E-ISBN-10: 1421403218
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801887598
Print-ISBN-10: 0801887593

Page Count: 168
Illustrations: 5 line drawings
Publication Year: 1980