Ron Johnston

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    Book Review: Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide by Jonathan A. Rodden

Book Review: Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide by Jonathan A. Rodden

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Parties of the centre-left in the US, the UK and a number of other countries win legislative power less frequently that their centre-right competitors, relative to the share of the votes they get at elections. This is because of the electoral system deployed in these countries and the geographies of party support. Ron Johnston reviews an important new book, […]

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    Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems edited by Erik S Herron, Robert J Pekkanen and Matthew S Shugart

Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems edited by Erik S Herron, Robert J Pekkanen and Matthew S Shugart

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Electoral systems are key components in the operation of representative democracies that vary considerably in their construction, with important consequences for how democracy is implemented. Ron Johnston reviews The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems which provides valuable overviews of many of the important topics studied by electoral system scholars, though he wonders about the relative value of such large […]

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    Book Review: Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics by Josh Lerner

Book Review: Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics by Josh Lerner

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Making Democracy Fun by Josh Lerner posits that public participation in decision-making can be enhanced by using games in public meetings, with the author drawing on multiple case studies of where this approach has been implemented. Ron Johnston finds a fascinating book that is as open about the dangers of game-playing as it is about the potential benefits, but suggests […]

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