Tema broja

Serbian Political Thought

The Designing of Serbia’s Electoral System


Electoral system reforms in Serbia followed the practice of post-socialist states – they were frequent and they became the “eternal” issue of institutional design. A century and a half of electoral experience of alternating between the majoritarian and proportional formulas and frequent interventions of governments into the electoral process could not serve as a model at the beginning of redemocratization. External factors initially acted as an inspiration to a small number of domestic experts. In the second phase, their influence increases. Contextual factors had the largest influence. Round table was used only in electoral system redesign and, even then, only when the government power was weakened. Head of state and Constitutional Court represent the most active institutions intervening into the electoral system, initiating reforms or revoking certain provisions of the electoral law. Perception of the stakeholders’ interests evolved along with the reforms. By positioning themselves in the parliament through the proportional electoral model with a closed list and with the right of the parties to allocate mandates as they wished regardless of the voting lists order, party elites have opposed all types of reforms that would emphasize personalization of elections. Election reforms in Serbia have been at a standstill for a decade. They are debated in professional and political circles. Negative effects of the current electoral system have been observed. Mechanisms available to designers, which serve to achieve goals and solve problems, are also known. The only thing missing is the power to transform them into electoral laws, as there is no political will to do so.

Ključne reči:


    1. (2009). CDL-EL(2009)012 Draft Law on the Election of Councillors of Serbia http://www.venice.coe.int/docs/2009/CDL-EL(2009)012-e.pdf
    2. (2010) UPITNIK: Informacije koje Evropska komisija zahteva od Vlade Srbije u cilju pripreme Mišljenja o zahtevu Srbije za članstvo u Ecropsku uniju ( I Demokratija i vladavina prava, Skupština, pitanje br 13) http://seio.gov.rs/upload/documents/upitnik/master_upitnik_sr.pdf
    3. Bawn, K. (1993). The Logic of Institutional Preferences: German Electoral Law as a Social Choice Outcome, American Journal of Political Science, 37(4): 965-989
    4. Birch, S. et al. (2002 ) Embodyng Democracy – Electoral System Desing in Post – Communist Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
    5. Benoit, K., Schiemann, (2001) ‘Institutional Choice in New Democracies, in: Journal of Theoretical Politics, 13(2): 158-61.
    6. Benoit, K. (2000). A Theory of Electoral Systems. Paper delivered at conference on Re-Thinking Democracy in the New Millennium, Houston, 16-19 February 2000.
    7. Blais, A. and L. Massicotte (1997). ‘Electoral Formulas: A Macroscopic Perspective, in: European Journal of Political Research, 32(1): 107-129.
    8. Brady, H. and, C. Kaplan (1994). Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. IN: David Butler and Austin Ranney (eds.) Referendums Around the World: The Growing Use of Direct Democracy. London: Macmillan
    9. Boix, C. (1999) ‘Setting the Rules of the Game : The Choice of Electoral Systems in Advanced Democracies, in: American PoliticalScience Review, 93(3): 609-624.
    10. Carey, J. and M. S. Shugart (1995) ‘Incentives to Cultivate a Personal Vote: A Rank Ordering of Electoral Formulas, in: Electoral Studies, 14(4): 417-439.
    11. Crampton, R.J. (1994) Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge
    12. Dogan, M. (1978) ’Romania 1919-1938. In: Myron W and O. Regun (eds.) Competitive Elections in Developing Countries. Chapel Hill: Duke University Press
    13. Dunleavy, P. and H. Margetts (1995). Understanding the Dynamics of Electoral Reform, International Political Science Review, 16 (1): 9-29.
    14. Geddes, B. (1996) ‘Initiation of New Democratic Institutions in Eastern Europe and Latin America’ In: A. Lijphart and C. Weisman, (eds.) Institutional Design in New Democracies: Eastern Europe and Latin America, Boulder: Westview Press.
    15. Gerard A. (2001) ‘Institutions, Path Dependence, and Democratic Consolidation, in: Journal of Theoretical Politics, 13(3): 249-269.
    16. Gunther, R. (1989) ‘Electoral Laws, Party Systems, and Elites: The Case of Spain, in: American Political Science Review, 83(3): 835-858.
    17. Holmes, S. (1994) ‘Designing Electoral Regimes: Introduction, in: East European Constitutional Review, 3(2): 39-42
    18. Ishiyama, J. (1997). Transition Electoral Systems in Post-Communist Europe, Political Science Quarterly, 112(1), 98-101.



PERIODIKA Serbian Political Thought 1/2011 UDC 324+342.8(497.11) 63-86