Subject: Electoral systems

April 2019, Volume 30, Issue 2

Catalonia: The Perils of Majoritarianism

Spain’s system of Autonomous Communities had functioned fairly smoothly for decades following the country’s democratic transition, but events in Catalonia are putting it under unprecedented strain.

July 2018, Volume 29, Issue 3

Enrolling India

A review of How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise by Ornit Shani.

January 2018, Volume 29, Issue 1

Reevaluating Runoffs in Latin America

The worldwide popularity of runoff rules for presidential elections has grown strikingly in recent decades. In Latin America, contrary to scholarly expectations, this shift has had important benefits for democracy. 

July 2017, Volume 28, Issue 3

India’s Democracy at 70: The Impact of Instant Universal Suffrage

When the authors of India’s Constitution took the extraordinarily bold step of establishing universal suffrage, thus giving the right to vote to all adult citizens, India became the world’s first large democracy to adopt universal adult suffrage from its very inception. We call India’s move “instant universal suffrage,” and distinguish it from the more common…

April 2017, Volume 28, Issue 2

The 2016 U.S. Election: The Nomination Game

Since the 1970s, the U.S. presidential-nomination system has become more democratic, making primary elections crucial, reducing the influence of political parties, and making it easier for outsiders to win.

October 2012, Volume 23, Issue 4

The Ethnocracy Trap

A political system in which power is formally divided among ethnic or sectarian groups may seem like a good idea in conflict-ridden societies, but it bears a high price and makes true democratic transition harder to achieve.

July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

The Crisis in Kenya

For years Kenya was regarded as one of Africa’s sturdiest democracies. The fraudulent 2007 presidential election, however, exposed the fragility of Kenya’s democratic framework.