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Demography and Democracy: A Global, District-level Analysis of Electoral Contestation

Gerring, John; Palmer, Maxwell; Teorell, Jan LU and Zarecki, Dominic (2015) In American Political Science Review 109(3). p.574-591
Abstract
According to the classical perspective, polity size and democracy are inversely related. In this article, we argue that there is an important exception that manifests itself at the district level in settings where multiparty competition is allowed. Specifically, we find that larger districts encourage greater contestation. This results from a little-noticed mechanical effect as well as from several features of constituencies that are affected by size and have direct repercussions for contestation. To demonstrate this thesis we assembled a unique dataset, the Multi-level Election Archive (MLEA), which unites electoral contests across a variety of districts (national, regional, and local) and elective offices from the eighteenth century to... (More)
According to the classical perspective, polity size and democracy are inversely related. In this article, we argue that there is an important exception that manifests itself at the district level in settings where multiparty competition is allowed. Specifically, we find that larger districts encourage greater contestation. This results from a little-noticed mechanical effect as well as from several features of constituencies that are affected by size and have direct repercussions for contestation. To demonstrate this thesis we assembled a unique dataset, the Multi-level Election Archive (MLEA), which unites electoral contests across a variety of districts (national, regional, and local) and elective offices from the eighteenth century to the present, including a total of 88 countries, 2,344 elections, 79,658 districts, and more than 400,000 contests. With this evidence we were able to conduct a broad array of statistical tests, some global and others focused on particular countries or election types, all of which support our general argument. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
American Political Science Review
volume
109
issue
3
pages
574 - 591
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000360106200010
  • scopus:84938878105
ISSN
1537-5943
DOI
10.1017/S0003055415000234
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
01b5af6f-1714-4d2b-bf65-019f3e1064a9 (old id 7968965)
date added to LUP
2015-09-22 14:20:22
date last changed
2017-08-27 03:15:43
@article{01b5af6f-1714-4d2b-bf65-019f3e1064a9,
  abstract     = {According to the classical perspective, polity size and democracy are inversely related. In this article, we argue that there is an important exception that manifests itself at the district level in settings where multiparty competition is allowed. Specifically, we find that larger districts encourage greater contestation. This results from a little-noticed mechanical effect as well as from several features of constituencies that are affected by size and have direct repercussions for contestation. To demonstrate this thesis we assembled a unique dataset, the Multi-level Election Archive (MLEA), which unites electoral contests across a variety of districts (national, regional, and local) and elective offices from the eighteenth century to the present, including a total of 88 countries, 2,344 elections, 79,658 districts, and more than 400,000 contests. With this evidence we were able to conduct a broad array of statistical tests, some global and others focused on particular countries or election types, all of which support our general argument.},
  author       = {Gerring, John and Palmer, Maxwell and Teorell, Jan and Zarecki, Dominic},
  issn         = {1537-5943},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {574--591},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {American Political Science Review},
  title        = {Demography and Democracy: A Global, District-level Analysis of Electoral Contestation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003055415000234},
  volume       = {109},
  year         = {2015},
}