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Comparative Electoral Systems and Voting Behavior

2019/2020
Учебный год
ENG
Обучение ведется на английском языке
4
Кредиты
Статус:
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
3-й курс, 3 модуль

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Electoral studies have been actively developing since the mid-1980s. Started from descriptive topics, electoral researches have become much more sophisticated both in terms of methods and obtained results. Modern electoral studies deal with the political effects of electoral systems, the factors of party system fragmentation, the representation of minorities and different socio-economic groups and so on. This course is aimed at both introducing the students to the main topics within the field of electoral studies and providing them with general tools to study electoral politics. The special attention is put forward to the analyzing of how electoral systems operate and affect voters, politicians and parties.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • This course is aimed at both introducing the students to the main topics within the field of electoral studies and providing them with general tools to study electoral politics.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Work with information: find, define and use the information from different sources which required for solving of research and professional problems (including the system approach)
  • Student is capable of posing research problems relevant to the study of political phenomena and political processes; setting particular research tasks; and putting together a research design
  • Able to solve professional problems based on synthesis and analysis
  • Student is capable of executing applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes - by using political science methods - and in support of practical decision making process
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • History of Electoral Research. Modern Agenda in Studying Electoral Systems. Party System Fragmentation. Electoral System Classification
    Core content of electoral studies. Definitions of the term “electoral system”. Electoral studies before Duverger’s book “Political Parties”. Duverger’s law and hypothesis. Rethinking Duverger’s legacy. Party system fragmentation. Measurement of party system fragmentation: the effective numbers of parties. Electoral systems: types and principal dimensions. The political salience of electoral systems.
  • Majoritarian Electoral Systems
    Majoritarian electoral systems: plurality (FPTP, BV, PBV, CV, SNTV, LV) and majority (TRS, AV).
  • Proportional Electoral Systems
    Proportional electoral systems (PR): List PR, STV. Quotas and divisors.
  • Mixed Electoral Systems
    Mixed electoral systems: MMM and MMP.
  • The Politics of Electoral Reform
    What is an electoral reform? Causes of electoral reforms. The controversial nature of electoral reforms.
  • Two Faces of Electoral Engineering. Electoral Engineering in Modern Russia and the Evolution of the Russian Electoral System
    What is an electoral engineering? Electoral engineering as an example of electoral malpractice. Evolution of Russian electoral system.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Seminar participation
    Seminars start with written tests (up to 10 minutes), which are followed by electoral system presentations and an in-depth discussion of the literature assigned for the class. The grade stems from the instructor’s assessment of a student’s participation in a seminar discussion and his or her test’s grade.
  • non-blocking Group presentation: Development of an electoral system
    Students prepare a group presentation which includes both the design, and the justification of electoral system for hypothetical political conditions.
  • non-blocking Essay: Election analysis paper
    The election analysis paper must be an original text. It should resemble either notes on recent elections published in Electoral Studies journal (it is available through the HSE Library e-resources (Science Direct periodical database)) or electoral reports published in West European Politics journal (it is available through the HSE Library e-resources (Taylor & Francis periodical database)). Country reports prepared by Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of OSCE (https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections) give other examples.
  • non-blocking Final test
    The final test is administered at the last seminar of the course. It is part a multiple-choice, and part an open-ended question test covering the material of the lectures and the reading for the seminars.
  • non-blocking Written Exam
    The exam is a written test which will consist of questions and topics discussed during the seminars. Тест прошел в 3 модуле.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.3 * Essay: Election analysis paper + 0.2 * Final test + 0.2 * Group presentation: Development of an electoral system + 0.1 * Seminar participation + 0.2 * Written Exam
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Norris, P. (DE-588)12894031X, (DE-576)164274413. (2004). Electoral engineering : voting rules and political behavior / Pippa Norris. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.111298148

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Molinar, J. (1991). Counting the Number of Parties: An Alternative Index. American Political Science Review, (04), 1383. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v85y1991i04p1383.1391.18