Electoral system design in the context of constitution-building

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Abstract: Electoral system design plays a crucial role in political settlement processes. However, it is a world with which political actors in transitions—and even to some extent the constitutional community itself—often have limited familiarity. This Discussion Paper is based on a presentation by the author at the fourth Edinburgh Dialogue on post-conflict constitution-building, held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, on 4–5 December 2017. It argues that, while the timing, stages and sequencing of a constitutional transition might be thought to be relevant to electoral system choice, there does not currently appear to be any strong link between them.

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