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The Empire. Between dispute and nostalgia

Edited By Emanuel Plopeanu, Gabriel Stelian Manea and Metin Omer

The book examines how different imperial models of diplomacy, administration, economics, and cultural and religious policies were challenged or, on the contrary, defended during and after the collapse of the Empires that promoted them. It provides an overview from multiple perspectives of the imperial phenomenon in all its dimensions, and the studies published in this volume address broad chronological segments and geographical areas relevant to the imperial idea.

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Herța Erroneous Calculations on the Ruins of Empires: The Failure of the Proportional Representation Method in Central and Southern Europe in the 1920s

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Adrian-Alexandru Herța*

Erroneous Calculations on the Ruins of Empires: The Failure of the Proportional Representation Method in Central and Southern Europe in the 1920s

Abstract: In the first Interwar years, as part of a large-scale political and juridical trend, a major wave of electoral reforms emerged in Central and Southern Europe: numerous both old and recently created states, like Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic States, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and Romania, almost enthusiastically adopted the same formula: the proportional representation method. By using a comparative approach, the present chapter aims to describe and to evaluate this continental phenomenon.

It can be said that this text opens up three fundamental perspectives. Firstly, the massive import of the proportional voting model is defined as a discontinuity agent; it created a profound split with pre-War legal tradition. Secondly, the geographical expansion of this electoral scheme can be seen as an idealistic search of the perfect theoretical template; the lawmakers of the late 1910s and early 1920s were excessively preoccupied by the virtues of the forms and somehow minimised the local political background. Finally, the present chapter highlights the most important negative effects of the diffusion of the proportional representation method in post-World War I Europe: strange and sometimes inequitable legal adjustments, the extreme fragmentation of the party systems, and acute governmental instability.

Keywords: proportional representation, electoral systems, interwar years, comparative politics, Central and Southern...

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