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Electoral Systems and the Representation of Minority Interests in Legislatures

David T. Canon
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug., 1999), pp. 331-385
Published by: Washington University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/440349
Page Count: 55
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Electoral Systems and the Representation of Minority Interests in Legislatures
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Abstract

The rules and institutions used to translate preferences into electoral outcomes have a profound impact on the nature of representation provided in a political system. This is especially true when it comes to representing divergent racial and ethnic group interests. This essay examines the range of alternatives that nations have used to address this fundamental problem, with a focus on the representation of minority interests within U.S. legislatures. After a brief review of related issues, I examine the following questions: how should representation be provided to minorities within a majority rule system (the normative literature); how can representation be provided (the legal literature); and, how are minority interests represented (the partisan implications of racial redistricting and the broader empirical literature on representation).

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