Publications: Electoral Systems in the Post-Communist Countries


The text of the book Electoral Systems in the Post-Communist Countries summarizes the development of electoral systems in twenty countries from 1989 to mid-2007. The text is divided into three connected parts. The first follows the development of electoral systems in the individual countries; electoral reforms are described, and the more general trends in electoral engineering in the post-Communist countries are also evaluated. The second part identifies sets of elements in the individual countries that are directly or potentially related to the electoral system. These include assessments of the immediate impact of the elections (in the sense of evaluating the degree of advantage or disadvantage to the individual parties), fragmentation, stability of the party system, presence of coalition ballots, independent candidates, and candidates of parties on the fringes of the political spectrum, stability of governments, and prevailing dominant formats in assembling governments. Attention is also given to the possible influence of electoral systems on the course of democratization. In the third part the results for the individual countries are subjected to comparative analysis. The findings of the research cast doubt on several simplistic assumptions about the relationship between electoral and party systems, as it is possible in a number of cases on the basis of the electoral system to explain the presence or absence of certain phenomena in the party systems, from a comparative perspective most of these causalities are called into question by the examples of other systems that with similar rules arrived at clearly differing results.

The publication’s author, Jakub Šedo, is a researcher at the Institute for Comparative Political Studies, where he specializes in research on elections and the electoral system.