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The Logic of Election: Perspectives on Political Development

Author: ZhangXiangAo
Tutor: HuWei
School: Shanghai Jiaotong University
Course: Management Science and Engineering
Keywords: Election Electoral Institutions Competitive Election Democracy election reform political development
CLC: D621
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 662
Quote: 1
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Abstract


There are many perspectives for political development. But in terms of institution, democracy has become a prevailing institution, and is pursued by most newly modernized countries. However, every country has its own peculiar traits which has to be been taken into account in establishing a democratic regime and should be the basic precondition for the democratic construction. On the other hand, as a political phenomenon, there are some universal rules for democratic development. Promoting the social development is the key impetus as well as the essential principle for academic study. What is democracy and how to realize democracy are the questions that require proper answers, and it is the duties of political scientists to accumulate relevant knowledge with a view to arriving at appropriate answers. This dissertation is devoted to explore the relationship between election and democracy in view of political development. This dissertation holds that election is the threshold for democratic regime, the first door to be opened and the unavoidable problem.From the world universal experience, the electoral choice decided the consolidation and quality of democracy. From the universal experience in the world, three points can be concluded: Firstly, the logical order of election and institution choice is related to the social order in the process of democratization; Secondly, different election system decides how to consolidate the democratic regime; Thirdly, the reform of election system can improve the quality of democracy. The framework of this study is based on the above questions. This dissertation will organize its content by following the order of political development-democratization, the consolidation of democracy and the promotion of the quality of democracy. The dissertation includes the following four parts.The first part, actually the first chapter, lays the theoretical foundation for the whole study. This part gives a general picture of the whole study by pointing out the question, describing the objectives and the content of this study, as well as conducting the literature review and the novelty explanation.The second part, namely, the second chapter, takes a macro perspective. This part first gives a general analysis of election by comparing the definition of relevant concepts and summarizing the rules and functions of election. Then by analyzing the process change of the realization of democratization and the core theory of democracy, this part testifies the following proposition, that is, election is the threshold of democracy.The third part, that is, the third chapter, adopts the middle-range perspective. By means of a model based on the rule of politics, This part arrives at a conclusion in the normative way, that is, competitive election is of more significance for the democratization. In the following, this conclusion is given positivist interpretation by turning to the experience of political development in some democratic countries such as England, France, and America, etc. In those countries, although the election was carried out very early, it is only within the recent thirty years that the suffrage was extended to all citizens above 18 years old. Finally, the dilemma of political development in newly modernized countries is analyzed. The fact that the universal suffrage is the starting point for democracy often results in the“unhealthy”election, that is, the lost of competitiveness in the election. The only possible way to get out is to launch an election in a substantial level, thus open the door to democratization in a real way.The fourth part gives the analysis from the micro perspective, which includes Chapter four, five and six. Part three illustrates the significance of lection for the political development of newly modernized countries, while in some way part four tries to answer how to carry out the election, with its focus on the choice of electoral institutions. Chapter four and five explores the logical relationship between the choice of electoral institution and democratization as well as its consolidation. Chapter four mainly discusses the logical possibility of influencing democratization and its consolidation by means of electoral institution theoretically, and summarizes the functions of various electoral institutions. Chapter five takes Papua New Guinea as the sample and conducts a empirical study to prove the choice of electoral institution does affect the social and political ecology and decides the degree of difficulty of democratization and its consolidation. Chapter six tries to show the influence of electoral institution on political development from another angle. In those countries with consolidated democracy, the theme of their political development is how to promote the quality of election. And this is done through reforming the electoral institution. This chapter analyzes the practical experience in three typical countries, that is, New Zealand, Italy and Canada, and sums up the effects of improving quality of democracy through the reform of electoral institution.

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CLC: > Political, legal > China's political > Political system and national institutions > Political system
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