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By Amel Ahmed

Amel Ahmed brings new historic proof and a singular theoretical framework to undergo at the research of democratization. taking a look at the politics of electoral procedure selection on the time of suffrage growth between early democratizers, she indicates that the electoral platforms utilized in complicated democracies this day have been at first devised as exclusionary safeguards to guard pre-democratic elites from the impression of democratization and, quite, the existential chance posed by way of operating classification mobilization. the ever present use and enduring nature of those safeguards calls into query the customary photograph of democracy relocating alongside a direction of accelerating inclusiveness. as a substitute, what emerges is an image that's riddled with ambiguity, the place inclusionary democratic reforms mix with exclusionary electoral safeguards to shape an everlasting a part of the hot democratic order. This ebook has vital implications for our knowing of the dynamics of democratic improvement either in early democracies and in rising democracies this present day.

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Other repressive measures were Reading history forward 21 more explicitly incorporated into the electoral system. This included the use of indirect voting which introduced a two-stage process whereby voters would designate electors who would in turn choose representatives. This was seen as a means of filtering the popular vote to ensure that no radical pro-majority representatives were chosen (Goldstein 1983; Bartolini 2000, 350). The most severe of the repressive measures and that which was more clearly directed at working-class mobilization was the practice of estate or plural voting.

Based on the findings of the cross-regional analysis, I go on in Chapters 4 through 7 to offer detailed process-tracing of electoral system choice in four crucial cases: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium. These cases have been chosen because they offer significant variation in the extent to which strategies of containment were successful. Each case exemplifies one of the four paradigmatic models of working-class incorporation developed in Chapter 2. These cases were also highly influential throughout the democratic world, looked to as important models of democratization and leaders in a transitional movement for electoral reform.

Ultimately, the choice of SMP or PR was neither a function of narrowly construed partisan interests, nor was it driven by the dictates 32 Introduction: contradictions and ambiguities of democratization of economic coordination. Rather, the reconfiguration of electoral systems was part of an evolving strategy employed by right parties to protect their shared interest in minimizing the influence of independent working-class mobilization, and of socialism in particular. In the concluding chapter I explore what these findings mean for our understanding of democratic development both in its historical and contemporary contexts.

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