par Nunez Lopez, Lidia ;Simon Cosano, Pablo ;Pilet, Jean-Benoît
Référence Annual General Conference Of The European Political Science Association (4: 19-21 Juin 2014: Edinburgh)
Publication Non publié, 2014-07-21
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : Since the beginning of the 2008 economic crisis, we have seen the emergence of important debates on the need to reorganize democracy and several discussions about institutional reforms. In this research we look into the relationship between electoral volatility and the introduction of electoral system changes. In a context of spread citizens´ dissatisfaction, voters have different ways to express their discontent in the polls. They may vote for other established mainstream parties or they may opt for new non-mainstream parties. According to our argument, it is only in the latter case that ruling parties would really feel threatened and would face incentives to initiate institutional reform. In order to analyze empirically these mechanisms, we have used data from the project ‘Electoral System Changes in Europe’ (ESCE) and studied the conditions under which electoral reforms affecting the proportionality of the system (formula, assembly size and threshold) have been enacted in 31 European countries between 1945 and 2012. We observe that the entry of new parties is more meaningful to explain how electoral instability may help to explain the emergence of reforms. Reformers are likely to opt for reforms making the system less inclusive when they are confronted to a real threat from new emerging parties challenging them. Under such circumstances, they will try to contain their challengers by making it harder for them to gain parliamentary representation.