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Public Choice

, Volume 178, Issue 1–2, pp 311–313 | Cite as

Matthew S. Shugart and Rein Taagepera: Votes from seats: logical models of electoral systems

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2017, xvi + 360 pp, USD 31.99 (Paperback)
  • Kenneth BunkerEmail author
Book Review

The purpose of Votes from Seats is to assess the impact of electoral institutions on party systems. While it is by no means the first book to take on the task, it is the first in decades to make groundbreaking progress. Through a seldom used logic approach it breaks with previous literature to build on existing axioms and rethink the causal relationship between the rules of the game and political parties. Among its major contributions is its expansion on the understanding of institutional dynamics and the predictive ability of electoral systems. It sets an example in the use of the scientific method by employing a simple parameter to make accurate predictions on the number and size of political parties across most democratic systems.

The book puts science at the core of its structure. It follows a dual process based on observation and thinking to gain explanatory leverage. It simultaneously builds from quantitative logical models and statistical testing programs to maximize the...

References

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  2. Duverger, M. (1954). Political parties. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  3. Rae, D. W. (1967). The political consequences of electoral laws. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Riker, W. H. (1982). The two-party system and Duverger’s law: An essay on the history of political science. American Political Science Review, 76(4), 753–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Taagepera, R. (2007). Predicting party sizes: The logic of simple electoral systems. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Taagepera, R., & Shugart, M. S. (1989). Seats and votes: The effects and determinants of electoral systems. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceSapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly

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