Electoral Reform and Social Choice Theory: Piecemeal Engineering and Selective Memory

  • Hannu NurmiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11890)


Most electoral reforms are dictated by recognized problems discovered in the existing procedures or - perhaps more often - by an attempt to consolidate power distributions. Very rarely, if ever, is the motivation derived from the social choice theory even though it deals with issues pertaining to what is possible and what is impossible to achieve by using given procedures in general. We discuss some reforms focusing particularly on a relatively recent one proposed by Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen. It differs from many of its predecessors in invoking social choice considerations in proposing a new system of electing representatives. At the same time it exemplifies the tradeoffs involved in abandoning existing systems and adopting new ones.


Condorcet consistency Plurality voting Plurality with runoff Black’s method Nanson’s rule 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Contemporary History, Philosophy and Political ScienceUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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