Do Electoral Rules have an Effect on Electoral Behaviour?




Electoral democracies worldwide are all organized around elections but the rules under which elections are organized differ strongly from one country to another. These electoral rules, such as whether voting is compulsory or what electoral system is used, are thought of as strongly affecting voters’ behaviour and the choices they make. If electoral rules indeed shape citizens’ electoral behaviour, the implication is that theories of what explains voters’ choices are country-specific as well. This is in sharp contrast to the idea that theories of electoral behaviour are generalizable. This special issue tackles this question and offers an impact assessment of the impact of electoral rules on voters’ behaviour on the one hand the generalizability of individual-level theories of voting behaviour on the other. The collection of papers furthermore offers an important contribution in terms of the kind of electoral rules that are scrutinized, with several papers focusing on the little-investigated phenomenon of preferential voting.




Electoral rules, electoral behaviour, electoral system, comparative research


This content has been updated on 29 May 2017 at 3 h 59 min.