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ESCE : Electoral System Changes in Europe since 1945 [ESCE : Electoral System Changes in Europe since 1945]

Building upon the literature that has developed since the mid-1990s on the politics of electoral system changes the ESCE research projects aims at moving one step further our understanding of the issue. To that extent ESCE aims at becoming the most ambitious research project so far in both time and scope in the field of electoral reform studies. All electoral system changes in Europe since 1945 are going to be studied, and the definition of what an electoral system change is would be also broaden by including electoral formula, district magnitude and thresholds but also changes to the ballot structure. On the basis of this very rich material the analysis would concentrate on four issues. (1) We are going to examine whether there is a change in the nature of the electoral reform process, in the way changes to the electoral law occur. Traditionally the process was fully under the control of the political elite but recent developments have show that citizens are getting more involved (Italy, NZ, British Columbia). We are going to verify if there is a clear trend or if the inclusion of citizens remains anecdotic. (2) What is considered in most articles and books to be the main driver of reform is the strategic interest of parties. Our perspective is that this model is too straightforward. The nature and dynamic of partisan interest is much more complex that the literature tells. In particular we aim at studying how the subjectivity of actors may be crucial to understand how they define whether a reform would be in their interest or not. (3) The role of values in electoral system changes would be discussed. The circumstances in which values are likely to operate and the effects they may have will be explored. And (4) we are going to look at the outcome of electoral system changes since 1945 in order to see whether we can identify trends leading European democracies in the same direction concerning the rules of the game they adopt for organizing elections. Both the proportionality and the personalization theses are going to be verified. [Building upon the literature that has developed since the mid-1990s on the politics of electoral system changes the ESCE research projects aims at moving one step further our understanding of the issue. To that extent ESCE aims at becoming the most ambitious research project so far in both time and scope in the field of electoral reform studies. All electoral system changes in Europe since 1945 are going to be studied, and the definition of what an electoral system change is would be also broaden by including electoral formula, district magnitude and thresholds but also changes to the ballot structure. On the basis of this very rich material the analysis would concentrate on four issues. (1) We are going to examine whether there is a change in the nature of the electoral reform process, in the way changes to the electoral law occur. Traditionally the process was fully under the control of the political elite but recent developments have show that citizens are getting more involved (Italy, NZ, British Columbia). We are going to verify if there is a clear trend or if the inclusion of citizens remains anecdotic. (2) What is considered in most articles and books to be the main driver of reform is the strategic interest of parties. Our perspective is that this model is too straightforward. The nature and dynamic of partisan interest is much more complex that the literature tells. In particular we aim at studying how the subjectivity of actors may be crucial to understand how they define whether a reform would be in their interest or not. (3) The role of values in electoral system changes would be discussed. The circumstances in which values are likely to operate and the effects they may have will be explored. And (4) we are going to look at the outcome of electoral system changes since 1945 in order to see whether we can identify trends leading European democracies in the same direction concerning the rules of the game they adopt for organizing elections. Both the proportionality and the personalization theses are going to be verified. ]



responsable


Jean-Benoit PILET


disciplines et mots clés déclarés


Sciences politiques auxiliaires

1945 electoral esce system