International IDEA's first Handbook, Electoral System Design was published in 1997, with a second edition in 2002.  

The Handbook gives a comprehensive overview of the electoral systems in use in more than 200 states and territories. It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different electoral systems, the factors to consider when modifying or designing an electoral system and provides insights into why certain countries choose particular systems.

It also describes which electoral systems have proven advantageous for specific cultural, social and economic conditions and how electoral systems can increase participation, reach out to minorities and facilitate representation of women.

The contents of the Handbook have now been revised and updated, and published under the title Electoral System Design: The New International IDEA Handbook.


Publication date
01 January 2002
Andrew Reynolds, Ben Reilly
Number of pages
91-89098-00-5 (Print)

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1. Overview

2. The World of Electoral Systems

3. The Systems and their Consequences

4. Special Parliamentary Considerations

5. Presidential, Upper House, and Local Government Elections

6. Cost and Administrative Implications

7. Advice for Electoral System Designers

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Electoral System Design

The International IDEA Handbook
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