Democracy and the Politics of Electoral System Choice: Engineering Electoral Dominance (Hardback)
  • Democracy and the Politics of Electoral System Choice: Engineering Electoral Dominance (Hardback)
zoom

Democracy and the Politics of Electoral System Choice: Engineering Electoral Dominance (Hardback)

(author)
£76.00
Hardback 242 Pages / Published: 22/11/2012
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
Amel Ahmed brings new historical evidence and a novel theoretical framework to bear on the study of democratization. Looking at the politics of electoral system choice at the time of suffrage expansion among early democratizers, she shows that the electoral systems used in advanced democracies today were initially devised as exclusionary safeguards to protect pre-democratic elites from the impact of democratization and, particularly, the existential threat posed by working-class mobilization. The ubiquitous use and enduring nature of these safeguards calls into question the familiar picture of democracy moving along a path of increasing inclusiveness. Instead, what emerges is a picture that is riddled with ambiguity, where inclusionary democratic reforms combine with exclusionary electoral safeguards to form a permanent part of the new democratic order. This book has important implications for our understanding of the dynamics of democratic development both in early democracies and in emerging democracies today.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107031616
Number of pages: 242
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'By focusing on the strategies and motives of pre-democratic political elites, Ahmed's comparative analysis sheds new light on the determinants of electoral reform in early democratizers. Her study shows how the careful reconstruction of the politics behind key institutional choices can provide significant insights into the process of democratization as a whole. This book breaks new theoretical and empirical ground, and will constitute important reading for scholars of democratization in all periods.' Giovanni Capoccia, University of Oxford
'Democracy and the Politics of Electoral System Choice investigates the political origins of democracy in the nineteenth century. In a fascinating twist on politics-as-strange-bedfellows, Amel Ahmed finds that economic elites supported democratic electoral institutions to safeguard their own positions in the new democratic order. This wonderful, counterintuitive, myth-busting book holds crucial lessons both for students of institutional analysis and for those who care about the abysmal performance of party politics in the post-industrial age.' Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University, and former chair of the Council for European Studies
'In this comparative analysis of the evolution of electoral institutions in Belgium, Britain, France, and the United States, Amel Ahmed pushes forward the agenda of 'historicizing' the study of democratization. The result is an argument that rethinks these crucial cases but also has a broader lesson: methods of exclusion and containment rather than being antithetical to democracy may, historically, have been at the heart of democracy itself. This provocative and important insight should be taken seriously by scholars of contemporary authoritarianism and democracy as well as by students of political institutions more generally.' Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard University
"By focusing on the strategies and motives of pre-democratic political elites, Ahmed's comparative analysis sheds new light on the determinants of electoral reform in early democratizers. Her study shows how the careful reconstruction of the politics behind key institutional choices can provide significant insights into the process of democratization as a whole. This book breaks new theoretical and empirical ground, and will constitute important reading for scholars of democratization in all periods." Giovanni Capoccia, Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Oxford
"Democracy and the Politics of Electoral System Choice investigates the political origins of democracy in the nineteenth century. In a fascinating twist on politics-as-strange-bedfellows, Amel Ahmed finds that economic elites supported democratic electoral institutions to safeguard their own positions in the new democratic order. This wonderful, counter-intuitive, myth-busting book holds crucial lessons both for students of institutional analysis and for those who care about the abysmal performance of party politics in the post-industrial age." Cathie Jo Martin, Professor of Political Science, Boston University, and former chair, Council for European Studies
"In this comparative analysis of the evolution of electoral institutions in Belgium, Britain, France, and the United States, Amel Ahmed pushes forward the agenda of 'historicizing' the study of democratization. The result is an argument that rethinks these crucial cases but also has a broader lesson: methods of exclusion and containment rather than being antithetical to democracy may, historically, have been at the heart of democracy itself. This provocative and important insight should be taken seriously by scholars of contemporary authoritarianism and democracy as well as by students of political institutions more generally." Daniel Ziblatt, Professor of Government, Harvard University

You may also be interested in...

Race of a Lifetime
Added to basket
The Making of the President 1960
Added to basket
Public Choice III
Added to basket
Adams vs. Jefferson
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
The Democratic Unionist Party
Added to basket
Democracy and Decision
Added to basket
Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box
Added to basket
Rebel Girls
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
UKIP
Added to basket
£18.99
Hardback
The Scottish Suffragettes
Added to basket
How to Win an Election
Added to basket
5 Days in May
Added to basket
£12.99
Hardback
Friends, Voters, Countrymen
Added to basket
The Politics of English Nationhood
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.