Establishing the Rules of the Game: Election Laws in Democracies

By André Blais, Louis Massicotte, and Antoine Yoshinaka

© 2004

There are an astonishing variety of election laws across contemporary democratic societies. In Establishing the Rules of the Game, Louis Massicotte, André Blais, and Antoine Yoshinaka provide the first thorough examination of these laws. The study incorporates original data collected from more than sixty democracies around the world, and touches on oft-ignored, yet extremely important, aspects of election laws. The countries covered by the study include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, and the United Kingdom. The authors focus on six dimensions of election laws: the right to vote, the right to be a candidate, the electoral register, the agency in charge of the election, the procedure for casting votes, and the procedure to sort out the winners and losers.

Massicotte, Blais, and Yoshinaka uncover underlying patterns, explaining why certain types of country tend to adopt a given sets of rules. In general, former colonies adopt the same laws as their former mother country. There is also a tendency for established democracies to be more inclusive than non-established ones. The authors point out sociological patterns and review normative and practical arguments for and against each set of rules, providing invaluable information for students of elections and democratic theory as well as election practicioners.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED DEC 2003

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    Regular Price: $32.95

    ISBN 9780802085641
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    ISBN 9780802087690
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Quick Overview

The authors point out sociological patterns and review normative and practical arguments for and against each set of rules, providing invaluable information for students of elections and democratic theory as well as election practicioners.

Establishing the Rules of the Game: Election Laws in Democracies

By André Blais, Louis Massicotte, and Antoine Yoshinaka

© 2004

There are an astonishing variety of election laws across contemporary democratic societies. In Establishing the Rules of the Game, Louis Massicotte, André Blais, and Antoine Yoshinaka provide the first thorough examination of these laws. The study incorporates original data collected from more than sixty democracies around the world, and touches on oft-ignored, yet extremely important, aspects of election laws. The countries covered by the study include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, and the United Kingdom. The authors focus on six dimensions of election laws: the right to vote, the right to be a candidate, the electoral register, the agency in charge of the election, the procedure for casting votes, and the procedure to sort out the winners and losers.

Massicotte, Blais, and Yoshinaka uncover underlying patterns, explaining why certain types of country tend to adopt a given sets of rules. In general, former colonies adopt the same laws as their former mother country. There is also a tendency for established democracies to be more inclusive than non-established ones. The authors point out sociological patterns and review normative and practical arguments for and against each set of rules, providing invaluable information for students of elections and democratic theory as well as election practicioners.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    'Establishing the Rules of the Game is the most thorough and comprehensive report available of all the rules governing the conduct of elections. A must-have book for every serious scholar of electoral systems.'


    Richard S. Katz, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University

    'This is an extremely well-focused study - a comprehensive encyclopedic work built around a meticulously researched database of electoral law. It covers a formidable range, making it a natural and invaluable reference work for electoral officials, political practitioners and researchers, and students of political science, law, and electoral management alike.'


    Norman Ruff, Department of Political Science, University of Victoria

    'This is an outstanding and highly informative study of crucial elements of election rules, especially impressive because it is so comprehensive (covering 63 democracies on all continents) and thoroughly systematic. An admirable contribution to the comparative literature on elections.'


    Arend Lijphart, Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego
  • Author Information

    André Blais is Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in Electoral Studies at the Université de Montréal.


    Louis Massicotte is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at l'Université de Montréal.



    Antoine Yoshinaka is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Rochester.

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