Comparing Democracies 2
Pippa Norris Books

John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


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Comparing Democracies 3:

Elections and voting in global perspective

Ed. Lawrence LeDuc, Richard Niemi and Pippa Norris

Book forthcoming 2009, London, Sage  


The first edition of Comparing Democracies proved 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 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 consequences for democracy. This Third Edition will remain essential reading for students and lecturers of elections and voting behavior, 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 3 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 systems, media communications, and political participation.

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: Comparing Democracies  LeDuc, Niemi & Norris

2.       Electoral Systems and Procedures David Farrell.

3.       Political Parties and Party Systems Susan Scarrow

4.       Partisanship and Ideology Russell Dalton

5.       Party and Campaign Finance Ingrid van Biezen.

6.       Political Participation Andre Blais

7.       Election Campaigns Christopher Wlezien

8.       Campaign Communications  Claes de Vreese

9.       Women and Elections Marian Sawer

10.    Leadership Effects Kees Arts

11.    Elections and the Economy Timothy Hellwig

12.    The Consequences of Elections G. Bingham Powell         


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

Last updated 12/06/2009