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Rules, Choice and Strategy

The Political Economy of Italian Electoral Reform Ram Mudambi, Professor and Perelman Senior Research Fellow of Strategic Management, Department of Strategic Management, Fox School of Business, Temple University, US, Pietro Maria Navarra, Professor of Economics of the Public Sector and Chancellor, University of Messina, Italy and Visiting Professor of Economics and Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, US and Giuseppe Sobbrio, Professor of Public Economics, University of Messina, Italy
This topical book analyses the change of electoral rules in Italy from proportional representation toward plurality. While Italy is used as the illustrative case, the analysis has far-ranging theoretical and practical implications, and will therefore be of interest to academics and researchers of political economy, constitutionalism and public choice.
Extent: 232 pp
Hardback Price: $134.00 Web: $120.60
Publication Date: 2001
ISBN: 978 1 84064 600 9
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Choice
The design of an electoral system is fundamental to any democracy. It is through electoral systems that the commitment of a society to a political system is achieved. The peculiarities of an electoral system assume significant importance in periods in which democratic polities seem caught between a crisis of confidence in their representative systems and mass apathy over the product of government – as has recently occurred in Italy.

Electoral rules constrain available choice alternatives and therefore have profound effects on governance of a country since different electoral rules generate different outcome patterns even with no change in the identity of candidates. The two most common electoral schemes are proportional representation and plurality. The theoretical debate concerning these two systems is of intense interest not least because of the importance of finding a stable, democratic and representative institutional structure that can be employed worldwide.

This topical book analyses the change of electoral rules in Italy from proportional representation toward plurality. While Italy is used as the illustrative case, the analysis has far-ranging theoretical and practical implications, and will therefore be of interest to academics and researchers of political economy, constitutionalism and public choice.
‘The book reaches well beyond an evaluation of the immediate public choice consequences of operating under alternative voting rules. . . . This book offers insights into the dynamics of electoral reform and the political consequences of such reform that should fascinate all serious students of public choice and political science.’
– From the foreword by Charles K. Rowley, The Locke Institute and George Mason University, US
Contents: Foreword by Charles K. Rowley Part I: Introduction 1. Overview 2. A History of the Italian Political System – 1913 to the Present Part II: Economics and Elections: The Key Tools 3. The Economics of Elections – A Review of the Literature 4. Electoral Systems, Electoral Formulae and Italian Electoral Rules Part III: Choices Between Rules 5. Information and Voting in Municipal Elections 6. Information, Proportionality and Power Dilution in Provisional Elections Part IV: Choices Subject to Rules 7. Party Electoral Strategies under the New Rules 8. Political Coalition Formation under the New Rules Part V: Rules, Choice and Strategy 9. Election Simulation and the Nature of Constitutional Choices 10. Summary and Evaluation Bibliography Index