PLSC 485a/663a Week VII. Reading Guide:
Party Systems and Electoral Competition

Anthony Downs. Economic Theory of Democracy 1957, Chapters 3, 4, 8
Ch. 3. In Down's model, why do voters support a particular party? When will voters vote strategically vs. sincerely?
Ch. 4. What drives the decision making of governments? What determines which side of an issue a party will support?
Ch. 8. Why does Downs expect that parties in a 2 party system will converge to the median voter? Why would this not happen in a multiparty system? Does this contradict his argument about wasted votes from Chapter 3?

Gary Cox. Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral Systems. Cambridge 1997; Chapters 1, 2, 3
Why is strategic coordination important in elections?
What are Duverger's propositions about parties and electoral systems?
Chapter 3 covers the potential variety of electoral systems in use. How would you characterize the American electoral system? What would be the effects of changing parts of the system?

Iversen, Torben. 1994. "The Logics of Electoral Politics: Spatial, Directional, and Mobilizational Effects." Comparative Political Studies, 27: 155-189.
Why don't political parties all converge to the middle of the political spectrum? What keeps the parties from flying off of the ends of the political spectrum? Recommended:
Albert Hirshman Exit, Voice and Loyalty, Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States; Chapter 6.
Why might a candidate in a 2 party system not adopt the position of the median voter? Is this rational?