Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft
Frist: 30.11.2020

CfP - Special Isssue "Majority versus proportionality?" in ZfVP / Comparative Governance and Politics

Call for Papers for a Special Issue on

Majority versus proportionality?
Trajectories of electoral reform in the Mediterranean since the 1990s

Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft (ZfVP) / Comparative Governance and Politics

This special issue aims to analyse electoral system reforms in the Mediterranean region under the aspect of improving governability or increasing proportionality of representation. How is this dilemma addressed in the Mediterranean region? Reform efforts are often legitimized by pointing at a lack of efficiency in creating a workable and stable government (governability) or of a fair transformation of votes into seats (proportionality), or by both aspects to varying degrees. Reform debates are often structured along this dichotomy, which also affects the outcome of the reform process. Complementary to Renwick (2010) and Gallagher/Mitchell (2008) for instance, we focus on the input (or demand) side of electoral reform as well as the outcome of reforms, in terms of both functionality and legitimacy. We are interested in drivers, scope, direction, vested interests and the politics of electoral reform. The Mediterranean focus reflects the higher degree of reform activities in this area, as illustrated by the case for Italy with four reforms (so far) since 1993. Against this backdrop, the Iberian Peninsula stands out by its lack of electoral reforms so far – why?

From a comparative perspective, it is interesting to analyse and compare the different strategies and legitimacy claims as well as the changes and compromises made in these processes. Are the effects of electoral reforms much more limited than promised by the reformers? Why are some proposed reforms successfully completed while others were stalled? To sum up, we are especially interested in papers with a focus on:

● Cross country comparisons of electoral reforms that focus on similarities and differences in the framework of a Most Similar or a Most Different Case Design.

● Case studies and process tracing approaches that focus on trajectories of (non)reform.

● Theoretical contributions that take into account the structure and consequences of majoritarian and proportional regulations and their ‘reformability’ in the specific regional context.

● Empirical, quantitative contributions on the causes and/or effects of electoral systems reforms.


Proposals can be focusing both on theoretical and on empirical questions, applying qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Please submit your manuscript proposal of max. 200 words by November 30th 2020 to Thomas Krumm and Marta Regalia. All accepted proposals will undergo the regular peer review process once the full manuscript is submitted.


Thomas Krumm und Marta Regalia,