Political Science 575 Professor Greg Schmidt

Fall 2003 Phone: 753-7058/758-6385

Founders 354 e-mail: gschmidt@niu.edu

W 7:00-9:40 p.m. Office: Zulauf 308

Hours: M, Th 3:30-4:30


This seminar examines electoral systems and political parties in competitive, mostly democratic systems throughout the world. Mixed-member electoral systems and electoral systems in Southeast Asia will receive special attention. Throughout the course there will be an interplay between general theories and specific cases.

The initial weeks of the seminar will provide a broad overview of electoral systems, introduce normative perspectives, and give students some basic tools for comparative analysis. We will then examine several important issues in electoral studies––mixed-member electoral systems, presidential elections, and strategic voting––among others treated in specific cases.

Towards the middle of the semester, we will begin to broaden our focus to look at party systems,

the minimal standards of electoral democracy, how electoral systems may facilitate or undermine democratic consolidation, and electoral engineering. The relative success of women candidates under different sorts of electoral systems will also receive special attention.

Registered auditors are welcome in the class. Please see point 5 below.

Seminar Requirements and Policies

1. Readings. Please purchase a copy of Rein Taagepera and Matthew Soberg Shugart, Seats and Votes: The Effects and Determinants of Electoral Systems (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989). This book is out of print, but it remains the best introduction to electoral systems for graduate students. NIU Printing has received permission to photocopy the entire book. It may be purchased in a convenient binder at the University Bookstore in the Holmes Student Center.

Each week all seminar participants will complete a set of common readings. The more general and theoretical readings are listed in the course outline. Additional readings on specific cases will be assigned for the weeks of October 8 and 15 and November 5 and 12. Almost all readings are in Seats and Votes or will be available on electronic reserve. A few exceptions will be explained in class.

I reserve the right to make reasonable adjustments to the syllabus.

2. Electoral Reviews. Over the years, I have found that most students learn more from a series of short analytical papers, rather than the conventional "make or break" term paper. Each student will complete two 5-7 page reviews on a case study dealing with electoral systems. Each review must treat a different country. In assigning the readings for these reviews, I will take class preferences into account, but I cannot guarantee each student his or her first preference.

Each review should identify the principal argument(s) in the reading, relate these to the theoretical literature and other cases, and present the student's evaluation of the scholarly work and the issue that it addresses. Each student must make and distribute copies of his or her review to fellow seminar participants and the instructor. (We should be able to do this by e-mail).

Grades will be based on the written work, an oral presentation, and performance during the ensuing class discussion. In making their oral presentations, reviewers may find it useful to present their key findings and arguments in a reader-friendly outline.

The first review will be on a reading chosen from the attached Lists A, B, C, or D. Topics will be assigned in class on September 24. These reviews will be due at 4 p.m. on Monday, October 6. They will be presented in class on October 8 and 15.

The second review will be on a reading chosen from among those listed under November 5 and 12.

Topics will be assigned in class on October 22. These reviews will be due at 4 p.m. on Monday, November 3. They will be presented in class on November 5 and 12.

3. Electoral Profile. Each student also will complete an electoral profile of up to 10 pages on any country with competitive elections for which there is adequate data. The instructions for the electoral profile are attached. The profiles are due on Monday, December 1 at 4 p.m. Each student must make copies of his or her profile for fellow seminar participants and the instructor. (Once again, we should be able to do this by e-mail.) Grades will be primarily based on the written work, though the oral presentation will also be taken into account.

4. Class Participation. The seminar format will be taken seriously. It is essential that students come to each class meeting prepared to discuss the readings––including those done for the reviews of their classmates––and the written work of other students in the seminar. General class participation, based on quantity and especially quality, will account for 10 percent of the final grade.

5. Auditors. Students who wish to audit the course are welcome if they are formally registered. Auditors are expected to regularly attend class and encouraged to do the readings. They are also invited to participate in class discussions if they have done the corresponding readings.

6. Course Grade. The following weights will be used in computing final grades:


Reviews and Presentations 25% X 2 = 50%

Electoral Profile 40%

General Class Participation 10%






Course grades will be distributed as follows:

Final Average Final Grade

93% and above A

90-92% A -

87-89% B+

83-86% B

80-82% B-

70-79% C

60-69% D

Below 60% F

In grading, I will abide by the standards adopted by the Political Science Graduate Committee. A grade of "A" is reserved for those students whose written and oral work is of the highest quality: thorough, creative, well-substantiated, insightful, and analytical. "A" grades are earned by seminar participants who understand that graduate education is to a large extent self-education. During their graduate careers these students will do much more than fulfill formal requirements.

A grade of "A-" can be earned by seminar participants who demonstrate most, but not all, of the qualities listed in the preceding paragraph.

A grade of "B+" is given for written and oral work that demonstrates a good grasp of the material.

A grade of "B" indicates satisfactory written and oral work.

A grade of "B-" is given to students whose performance meets only minimal expectations at the graduate level. I will not recommend these students for the Ph.D. program.

A grade of "C" means that the student's performance is less than adequate for graduate study in the Department of Political Science. This grade will make it more difficult for the student to maintain the minimum 3.00 GPA needed to avoid academic probation and dismissal.

Grades of "D" and "F" are given in those rare cases when a student makes little or no effort to meet the course requirements.

7. Academic Integrity. Seminar participants are expected to comply with NIU and Department of Political Science policies regarding academic integrity and plagiarism. Please see the NIU Graduate Catalog and the Department of Political Science Graduate Handbook. Any suspicion of academic misconduct will be treated in accordance with university and departmental policies and


8. Adjustments in Course Schedule. I will do my best to follow the schedule outlined below, but I reserve the right to make reasonable adjustments with adequate warning if unforeseeable or

uncontrollable circumstances (e.g. weather, illness, travel) so warrant. It is not fair, however, to change the schedule simply to accommodate the preferences of some seminar participants because

other students almost inevitably suffer.




Introduction to Course (en absentia)


Class Overview and Questions

The Study of Electoral Systems

Rein Taagepera and Matthew Soberg Shugart, Seats and Votes: The Effects and Determinants of Electoral Systems (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), pp. xi-xv, 1-6.

Variation in Electoral Systems

Taagepera and Shugart, Seats and Votes, pp. 9-46.

Normative Perspectives

Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, eds., The Global Resurgence of Democracy (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1993), pp. 146-177 (articles by Lijphart (2), Lardeyret, and Quade).


Empirical Analysis of Electoral Systems

Taagepera and Shugart, Seats and Votes, pp. 60-141, 201-217.


Empirical Analysis of Electoral Systems (continued)



Mixed-Member Electoral Systems

Matthew Soberg Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg, eds. Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: The Best of Both Worlds? (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), Introduction, Chapters 1, 2 and 25 by editors, pp. 1-51, 571-596; and Chapters 4 and 14 on New Zealand, pp. 70-95 and 297-322.

Selection of First Review Topics


Presidential Elections

André Blais, Louis Massicotte, and Agnieszka Dobrzynska, "Direct Presidential Elections: A World Summary," Electoral Studies 16-4 (1997), pp. 441-455.

Matthew Soberg Shugart and John M. Carey, Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional

Design and Electoral Dynamics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 206-


Gregory D. Schmidt, "Fujimori's 1990 Upset Victory in Peru: Electoral Rules, Contingencies, and Adaptive Strategies," Comparative Politics (April 1996), pp. 321-354.

Strategic Voting

Gary W. Cox, Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral

Systems (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 99-138.

Gregory D. Schmidt, "Strategic Voting Under Top-Two Majority Runoff: The 1990 Peruvian Presidential Election," Paper Presented at the 1999 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, September 2-5.


First Review Due at 4 p.m.


Presentation of First Reviews from Lists A, B, C, and D.


Party Systems

Alan Ware, Political Parties and Party Systems (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 147-212.

Taagepera and Shugart, Seats and Votes, pp. 47-57.

Cox, Making Votes Count, pp. 203-221.

Scott Mainwaring, "Party Systems in the Third Wave," Journal of Democracy (July 1998), pp. 67-81.

Gary M. Reich, "Coordinating Party Choice in Founding Elections: Why Timing Matters," Comparative Political Studies 34-10 (December 2001), pp. 1237-1261.

Selection of Second Review Topics



Meeting the Minimal Standard of Electoral Democracy

Jørgen Elklit and Palle Svensson, "What Makes Elections Free and Fair?," Journal of

Democracy 8-3 (July 1997), pp. 32-46.

Andreas Schedler, "The Menu of Manipulation," Journal of Democracy 13-2 (April 2002), pp. 36-50.

Democratic Consolidation and Electoral Engineering

Andreas Schedler, "What Is Democratic Consolidation?," Journal of Democracy 9-2 (April 1998), pp. 91-107.

Taagepera and Shugart, Seats and Votes, pp. 218-237.

Rein Taagepera, "How Electoral Systems Matter for Democratization," Democratization 5-3 (Autumn 1998), pp. 68-91.

Aurel Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics in Southeast and East Asia (Singapore: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2002), pp. 1-24 and 321-370.

Please download or copy from http://library.fes.de/fulltext/iez/01361inf.htm


Second Review Due at 4 p.m.


Presentation of Second Reviews from following:

East and Southeast Asia:

Chapter on Cambodia in Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics, pp. 25-73.

Chapter on Indonesia in Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics, pp. 75-99.

Chapter on Malaysia in Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics, pp. 101-148.

Chapter on the Philippines in Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics, pp. 149-202.

Chapter on Singapore in Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics, pp. 203-232.

Chapter on South Korea in Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics, pp. 233-276.

Chapter on Thailand in Croissant, ed. Electoral Politics, pp. 277-320.

Dwight Y. King, Half-Hearted Reform: Electoral Institutions and the Struggle for Democracy in Indonesia (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2003), pp. 47-104, 221-230.

Mixed-Member Electoral Systems:

Chapters 3 and 13 on Germany in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 55-69, 279-296.

Chapters 5 and 15 on Italy in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 96-122, 323-350.

Chapters 6 and 16 on Israel in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 123-151, 351-379.

Chapters 7 and 17 on Japan in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 152-172, 380-403.

Chapters 8 and 18 on Venezuela in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 173-193, 404-431.

Chapters 9 and 19 on Bolivia in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 194-208, 432-446.

Chapters 10 and 20 on Mexico in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 209-230, 447-476.

Chapters 11 and 21 on Hungary in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 231-254, 477-493.

Chapters 12 and 22 on Russia in Shugart and Wattenberg, eds., pp. 255-275, 494-518.



Electoral Systems and the Election of Women

Richard E. Matland, "Enhancing Women’s Political Participation: Legislative Recruitment and Electoral Systems." In Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers, ed. Azza Karam, pp. 65-88. Stockholm: International IDEA, 1998.

Richard E. Matland and Michelle M. Taylor, "Electoral System Effects on Women's Representation: Theoretical Arguments and Evidence From Costa Rica," Comparative Political Studies 30-2 (April 1997), pp. 186-210.

Mala N. Htun and Mark P. Jones, "Engendering the Right to Participate in Decision-Making: Electoral Quotas and Women’s Leadership in Latin America." In Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America, eds. Nikki Craske and Maxine Molyneux, pp. 32-56. Houndmills, England: Palgrave, 2002.

Mark P. Jones, "Gender Quotas, Electoral Laws, and the Election of Women: Lessons from the Argentine Provinces," Comparative Political Studies 31-1 (February 1998), pp. 3-21.

Three Very Different Cases from the Same Country

Gregory D. Schmidt, "Dale Uno a la Mujer: Preference Voting and Gender Quotas in Peru." Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, August 30, 2002.

Gregory D. Schmidt and Kyle L. Saunders, "Effective Quotas, Relative Party Magnitude,

and the Success of Female Candidates: Peruvian Municipal Elections in Comparative

Perspective," forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies, August 2004.

Gregory D. Schmidt, "Ineffective but Successful: The Paradox of Gender Quotas in Lima’s Municipal Elections." Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, August 28, 2003.


Electoral Profile Due at 4 p.m.



Presentation of Electoral Profiles












List A: Some Initial Cases

Scott Mainwaring, "Politicians, Parties, and Electoral Systems: Brazil in Comparative Perspective," Comparative Politics (October 1991), pp. 21-43.

Raj Mathur, "Parliamentary Representation of Minority Communities: The Mauritian Experience," Africa Today 44-1 (1997), pp. 61-82.

Rhoda Rabkin, "Redemocratization, Electoral Engineering, and Party Strategies in Chile, 1989-1995," Comparative Political Studies (June 1995), pp. 335-356.

Ben Reily, "The Alternative Vote and Ethnic Accommodation: New Evidence from Papua New Guinea," Electoral Studies 16-1, pp. 1-11.

Amita Shastri, "Electoral Competition and Minority Alienation in a Plurality System: Sri Lanka 1947-77," Electoral Studies 10-4 (1991), pp. 326-347.

Henry Valen, "List Alliances: An Experiment in Political Representation," in M. Kent Jennings and Thomas E. Mann, eds., Elections at Home and Abroad: Essays in Honor of Warren E. Miller

(Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press), pp. 289-321.

Richard Vengroff, "The Impact of the Electoral System on the Transition to Democracy in Africa: The Case of Mali," Electoral Studies 13-1 (1994), pp. 29-37.


List B: Cases Focusing on the Choice of Electoral Systems

Josep M. Colomer and Iain McLean, "Electing Popes: Approval Balloting and Qualified-Majority Rule," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 29-1 (Summer 1998), pp. 1-22.

Stanislaw Gebethner, "Proportional Representation Versus Majoritarian Systems: Free Elections and Political Parties in Poland, 1989-1991, in Arendt Lijphart and Carlos H. Waisman, eds.,

Institutional Design in New Democracies: Eastern Europe and Latin America (Boulder: Westview Press, 1996), pp. 59-75.

Illinois Assembly on Political Representation and Alternative Electoral Systems, Executive Summary, Spring 2001 (Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign: Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois).

John T. Ishiyama, "Transitional Electoral Systems in Post-Communist Eastern Europe," Political Science Quarterly 112-1 (1997), pp. 95-113.

List C: Cases Involving Presidential Systems or Majority Runoff

Sarah Birch, "Electoral Systems, Campaign Strategies, and Vote Choice in the Ukranian Parliamentary and Presidential Elections," Political Studies 46 (1998), pp. 96-114.

Ernesto Cabrera, "Multiparty Politics in Argentina?: Electoral Rules and Changing Patterns," Electoral Studies 15-4 (1996), pp. 477-495.

Mikhail G. Filippov and Olga V. Shvetsova, "Direct Presidential Elections and Party Systems in Eastern Europe," Paper Presented at the 1996 American Political Science Association Meeting, San


Mark P. Jones, "Racial Heterogeneity and the Effective Number of Candidates in Majority Runoff Elections: Evidence from Louisiana," Electoral Studies 16-3 (1997), pp. 349-358.

Charles D. Kenney, "Blackballing Ballotage: A Reexamination of the Effects of Presidential Majority Runoff in Latin America," Paper Presented at the 1997 Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, Guadalajara, Mexico.

Joseph A. Schlesinger and Mildred S. Schlesinger, "Dual Ballot Elections and Political Parties: The French Presidential Election of 1995," Comparative Political Studies 31-1 (February 1998), pp. 72-


Michelle M. Taylor, "When Electoral and Party Institutions Interact to Produce Caudillo Politics: The Case of Honduras," Electoral Studies 15-3 (1996), pp. 327-337.

Stephen White, Richard Rose, and Ian McAllister, How Russia Votes (Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House Publishers, Inc.: 1997), pp. 241-270.

List D: Cases Emphasizing Strategic Voting/Behavior

Barry Ames, "Electoral Strategy Under Open-List Proportional Representation," American Journal of Political Science 39-2 (May 1995), pp. 406-33.

Richard F. Bensel and M. Elizabeth Sanders, "The Effect of Electoral Rules on Voting Behavior: The Electoral College and Shift Voting," Public Choice 34 (1979), pp. 69-85.

André Blais and Richard Nadeau, "Measuring Strategic Voting: A Two-Step Procedure," Electoral Studies 15-1(1996), pp. 39-52.

John Fuh-sheng Hsieh and Richard G. Niemi, "Can Duverger’s Law Be Extended to SNTV?: The Case of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan Elections," Electoral Studies 18 (March 1999), pp. 101-116.

Neal G. Jesse, "Candidate Success in Multi-Member Districts: An Investigation of Duverger and Cox," Electoral Studies 18 (September 1999), pp. 323-340.

Hanspeter Kriesi, "Straightforward and Strategic Voting in the Elections for the Swiss Council of States in 1995," Electoral Studies 17-1 (1998), pp. 45-59.

Richard Vengroff, "The Impact of Electoral Reform at the Local Level in Africa: The Case of Senegal's 1996 Local Elections," Electoral Studies 17-4 (1998), pp. 463-482.

Instructions for Electoral Profile

Your profile will be based on background information and data on (a) five consecutive elections to the same legislative chamber in any country with competitive elections; or (b) single elections to comparable legislative chambers in any two competitive countries of your choice. Whether you choose Option "A" or "B," your data must include the total number of seats and valid votes (or percentages thereof) won by each party in each election.

Background information and data for most Western European countries, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States are available in Thomas T. Mackie and Richard Rose,

The International Almanac of Electoral Studies, 3rd edition (Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1991), which will be placed on reserve for this course. More recent data on the same countries can be found in Tom Mackie and Richard Rose, A Decade of Election Results: Updating the International Almanac (Glasgow: Centre for the Study of Public Policy, University of Strathclyde,

1997), available from the instructor. You may also be able to find data on other countries in the Lijphart electoral archive at the University of California, San Diego (http://dodgson.ucsd.edu/lij/),

Elections Around the World (http://www.electionworld.org/), the European Journal of Political

Research 32, nos. 3-4 (to be placed on reserve), and other sources.

Although you may organize your profile in any way that you choose, please make sure that it includes the following:

1. Description of the electoral rules for major offices (assembly, both chambers if bicameral; head of government/state if directly elected) during the period of the elections that you analyze (i.e.

five consecutive elections in the same country under Option "A" or single elections in different countries under Option "B"). You should discuss the district magnitude(s) and allocation rules used for each type of election, including PR formulas, adjustment seats, and thresholds, if relevant. If district magnitude varies or is affected by adjustment seats or thresholds, try to estimate the effective magnitude. Feel free to discuss other features that you feel are important, such as ballot structure, turnout, malapportionment, any allegations of fraud, etc.

2. The advantage ratios for each party in each election. (In this and all subsequent computations, please consider "Others" as a party.)

If you choose Option "A," please graph these advantage ratios and the respective percentages of the vote, following the format in Chapter 7 of Taagepera and Shugart (T&S). Please also list the

coordinates used in the graph. Do your data points appear to approximate one of the proportionality profiles in Chapter 7? If so, which one?

3. The effective number of parties in each election, based on both vote and seat shares. Under Option "A," contrast the indicators from the political system that you examine with other political

systems. Under Option "B," contrast the indicators from the two different political systems. See Chapter 8 of T&S.

4. A brief discussion of the major cleavages and/or issue dimensions in the electoral system and the respective positions of the major parties (Option "A" only). See Chapter 9 of T&S.

5. The deviation from proportionality in each election. Under Option "A" contrast your findings with other political systems. Under Option "B" compare the indicators from the two systems. See

Chapter 10 of T&S.

6. General Conclusions. Interpret the patterns that you have identified. Do(es) the electoral system(s) produce the sorts of results predicted by T&S? Do other factors have an impact? Can

you explain any differences over time (Option "A") or between systems (Option "B")? Feel free to identify and discuss any other significant issues in the system(s) that you analyze, including

any evidence of strategic behavior (see Cox).

Please include complete citations of all sources used. Please also append the raw data used to compute 2, 3, and 5 above.

Please Note: In grading, I will take into account the difficulty of the case(s) and the extent to which it (they) is (are) discussed in the assigned readings. In other words, ceteris paribus, a good profile of a "difficult" case not treated in the assigned readings would merit a somewhat higher grade than a good profile of an "easy" case or one that is discussed extensively in the reading. However,

it is possible to earn an "A" with a first-rate profile of any political system.