Comparing Democracies 2
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Comparing Democracies 2:

Elections and voting in global perspective

Ed. Lawrence LeDuc, Richard Niemi and Pippa Norris

Book published 2002 Sage  Paperback $39.95 Hardback $120 : 0761972234


The first edition of Comparing Democracies was a landmark text, providing students with a thematic introduction to the global study of elections and voting. In this major new edition the world's leading international scholars have again produced an indispensable guide and up-to-date review of the whole field. Each of the chapters (the majority of which are completely new) provide a broad theoretical and comparative understanding of all the key topics associated with the elections including electoral and party systems, voter choice and turnout, campaign communications, and the new politics of direct democracy. This Second Edition will remain essential reading for students and lecturers of elections and voting behaviour, comparative politics, parties, and democracy.

Elections have undergone radical changes in recent decades, not only in the United States but throughout the world. Electoral systems have experienced major reform in many countries including Italy, Israel, and Japan, and new parties have changed the face of competition in Germany, France, and Belgium. The emerging democracies of Eastern Europe and Latin America have also established new party systems with competitive elections. Integrating and synthesizing the most recent research in the field of elections, Comparing Democracies 2 offers selections from a team of renowned international scholars writing on their areas of specialty. Contributors provide a cross-national study comparing elections in a number of democracies and discussing key topics associated with the study of elections including electoral laws, media communications, and voter turnout.

This prestigious volume is an invaluable addition to the literature on elections and voting behavior, comparative democracy, and area studies. It will also serve as a standard reference for graduate students in comparative politics.

Reviews of the 1st edition

"Comparing Democracies is a study of elections and voting and is a follow-up to Democracy at the Polls (1981 AEI). It covers more themes (including interest groups, political leaders and the economy) and more countries. Many of the chapters are genuinely cross-national and at times contributors make heroic efforts to be descriptive, comparative, and analytic in the space of twenty pages. ...there is not a weak chapter in the volume. The thirty-five closely types pages of comparative data on election arrangements across fifty-three states is a tour de force. There is no overview essay but this is no loss because of the excellence of the chapters." Dennis Kavanagh, Political Studies, September 1998.

"This is certainly a book that all interested in elections will want to have to hand and for those who teach the subject comparatively it is indispensible." EPOP Newsletter, July 1997.


1.   Introduction  Lawrence LeDuc, Richard G. Niemi and Pippa Norris

Institutional Rules of the Game

2    Electoral Systems André Blais and Louis Massicotte         

3.   Referendums and Initiatives Lawrence LeDuc 


Core Actors

5.   Party Systems Peter Mair   

6.   Political Communication Pippa Norris                                      

7.   Candidate Selection Reuven Hazan      


Electoral Outcomes

8.   Voting Behavior Richard Niemi and William Miller               

9.   Political Cleavages and Issues  Russell J. Dalton 

10. Electoral Participation Mark Franklin 

11. Consolidating Democracies Larry Diamond                      


Copyright 2004 Pippa Norris, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138.

Last updated 12/06/2009