The Personalization of Electoral Rules: How Shifting Influence From Selectors to Voters Affects Party Unity

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Title: The Personalization of Electoral Rules: How Shifting Influence From Selectors to Voters Affects Party Unity
Authors: Däubler, Thomas
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Date: 29-Jan-2021
Online since: 2021-05-18T11:57:18Z
Abstract: How does making electoral systems more candidate-centered affect party unity? Using a principal-agent perspective, this study makes three contributions to the literature on this topic. Conceptually, it suggests thinking about the incentives due to personalization as arising from a shift in electoral impact from party selectors to voters. Theoretically, it incorporates this notion into a spatial model of parliamentary voting that also considers principals’ monitoring capacities. From the resulting framework follows a rich set of observable implications, notably that candidate-centered electoral systems facilitate rather than undermine collective action within parliamentary parties under certain conditions. Empirically, this study then analyzes the 2010 reform of Sweden’s flexible-list proportional representation system, which changed the preference vote threshold. As expected, I find that when extreme (district-based) selectors disagree with the moderate bills supported by the party group leadership, personalized rules incentivize politicians to support these policies and vote in unison.
Funding Details: German Research Foundation
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Sage
Journal: Political Research Quarterly
Copyright (published version): 2021 University of Utah
Keywords: Parliamentary votingParty unityPersonalizationCandidate selectionFlexible-list PRPrincipal-agent modelLegislative behaviorParliamentary behaviourCandidate selectionIncentivesInstitutions
DOI: 10.1177/1065912920987898
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 1065-9129
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Politics and International Relations Research Collection

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