Image Database Export Citations


Ethnic Heterogeneity, District Magnitude, and the Number of Parties

Show full item record

Type: Working Paper
Author: Ordeshook, Peter C.; Shvetsova, Olga
Date: 1992
Agency: Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Series: Social Science Working Paper, No. 809
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5773
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Europe
Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): ethnicity
Abstract: "Recent events leading to the importation of democratic ideas and ideals by previously totalitarian states increase our interest in the ways in which electoral institutions influence party systems. However, even if we restrict our attention to Eastern Europe or the successor states of the Soviet empire, we encounter a range of social diversity - ethnic heterogeneity - that is as great as those in the set of countries examined in earlier studies that seek to identify the influence of electoral laws (c.f., Rae, Lijphart, and Taagepera and Shugart). Curiously, though, these earlier studies fail to ascertain whether and to what extent electoral laws mediate the influence of this heterogeneity. Hence, to develop a more pragmatic understanding of electoral institutions, we adopt the view of electoral laws as intervening structures and, using the data of these earlier analyses, we reconsider the role of one institutional parameter - district magnitude - that some researchers regard as the most important characteristic of an electoral system. Aside from the usual caveats about - the limitations of our data, our primary conclusion is that district magnitude is not merely an important determinant of the number of parties that compete in a political system, but that it can offset the tendency of parties to multiply in heterogeneous societies."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Ethnic heteroge ... the number of parties.pdf 551.7Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record