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Arkistoitu opetusohjelma 2016–2017
Selaat vanhentunutta opetusohjelmaa. Voimassa olevan opetusohjelman löydät täältä.
PCP09 Comparative Electoral Systems 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period II Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Master's Degree Programme in Public Choice
School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Learning outcomes

Electoral systems are primarily processes by which votes cast in an election are translated into seats in a legislature, but can also be thought of as a subset of voting systems and thus related to, for instance, voting in referendums and the study of voting rules. As such, these voting and electoral systems can have a profound effect on public policy and party systems.
This course examines majoritarian, proportional, and mixed electoral systems in terms of how these institutions translate votes into seats and can incentivize strategic or genuine choices by voters when casting a ballot. Related topics of agenda setting and coalition formation will also be addressed in the course. We'll start with an overview of the mechanics of these systems and then turn to classic political questions of party competition, resource allocation, and interest representation as they relate to how these systems operate in a comparative context.

General description


January 11: Introduction

January 18: Social Choice and Electoral Systems

January 25: Comparative Visions of Representation

February 1: Variety of Electoral Systems

February 8: Proportional Representation in Practice

February 15: Mixed Electoral Systems and the Single Transferable Vote

February 22: Majoritarian Electoral Systems ASSIGNMENT #1 DUE

March 1: Coalition Formation Processes

March 8: No class this week

March 15: Electoral Systems and Interest Representation

March 22: Electoral Systems in Divided Societies: The Case of South Africa

March 29: Elections in Authoritarian Societies ASSIGNMENT #2 DUE

April 5: Representation at the Local Level

April 12: The Power of Agenda Setting

April 26: Final papers are due

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Peter Miller, Teacher responsible


11-Jan-2017 – 12-Apr-2017
Lectures 26 hours
Wed 11-Jan-2017 - 19-Apr-2017 weekly at 14-16, Päätalo A3

Evaluation criteria

Class Requirements:

• Class Participation 20% of final grade

• Writing Assignments 40% of final grade

• Final Paper 40% of final grade

Study materials

All of the readings for the course are available on the Moodle website related to this course. However, we read substantial portions of the following books, which students may wish to purchase.

• Gallagher, Michael and Paul Mitchell. 2008. The Politics of Electoral Systems. New York: Oxford University Press.

• Lijphart, Arend. 2012. Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries. (2nd edition). New Haven: Yale University Press.

• Powell, G. Bingham. 2000. Elections as Instruments of Democracy: Majoritarian and Proportional Visions. New Haven: Yale University Press.

• Riker, William. 1982. Liberalism Against Populism: A Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice. San Francisco:W.H. Freeman and Company.