Temptation of the “Powerful”: The politics of electoral reform in Central Europe in post-transitional period
The paper explores and analyses processes of electoral reforms in selected Central European countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia) in post-transitional period. The qualitative analysis focuses “only” on the enacted changes in electoral systems and its purpose is not to evaluate the impact and political consequences of individual changes but rather to concentrate, through a theoretically-informed detailed contextual analysis, on the electoral reform process itself. It is therefore concerned with contextual factors affecting, underlying, initiating and/or controlling these changes. The paper identifies political elites as the main actors of electoral reform processes in selected countries, and it tries to explain both motivations of political elites for changing status quo electoral systems and other circumstances of electoral reform processes in Central Europe as well. The analysis also suggests that processes of electoral reform in post-transitional period in Central Europe are characterized by a tendency to less proportional electoral system designs, with the only exception of the Slovak electoral reform of 1999 (due to specific political constellation), while it did not discover any clear tendency regarding personalization of electoral systems.
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