Political Transformation and the Electoral Process in
    Post-Communist Europe

  About the Project

  The Database
  - Legislation
  - Election Results
  - Constituency Data
  - Candidate Data

  Country   Option

 Core Countries
  - Bulgaria
  - Czech Republic
  - Estonia
  - Hungary
  - Latvia
  - Lithuania
  - Moldova
  - Poland
  - Romania
  - Russia
  - Slovakia
  - Ukraine

 Electoral System Matrices

 Working Papers

  Useful Links
  Contact details

The Project on Political Transformation and the Electoral Process in Post-Communist Europe was part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘One Europe or Several?’ research programme. The project was based in the Department of Government at the University of Essex between May 1999 and May 2002. 

The project has now ended and the text below was posted at the beginning of the project. 

Background and overview

The research investigates how different aspects of the electoral system affect democratic performance and the process of political reform in post-communist Europe. The role of electoral systems will be identified and explained by refining and testing empirical models derived from the study of electoral systems in established democracies. A variety of historical, comparative and quantitative methods will be employed to carry out analyses of the role of competitive elections in the process of democratisation and their effects on democratic performance, defined as the expression of popular preferences, representativeness, and policy responsiveness. The investigation focuses on a set of nineteen Central European, South-East European, and former Soviet countries. It will assess the varying impacts of different types of electoral system, comprising formulae for the conversion of votes into seats, participation criteria, and the regulations governing candidates and campaigns.


The principal aim of the project is to explain the role of electoral systems in the process of democratisation in post-communist Europe. Objectives linked to the overall aim are both conceptual and practical:

(a) to advance the theoretical understanding of elections by expanding the range of dependent and independent variables incorporated into their comparative analysis;

(b) to explain the extent to which theoretical and empirical findings from Western Europe do or do not apply to the newly democratising countries;

(c) to advise those in positions to influence the drafting of electoral laws on the variety of alternatives at their disposal and the likely consequences of adopting them;

(d) to increase access to data on Eastern European elections since 1989 and thus to facilitate independent analysis by other researchers and electoral designers.


Dr. Frances Millard
Department of Government, University of Essex, Project Director
Dr. Sarah Birch
Department of Government, University of Essex
Dr. Kieran Williams
School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London
Marina Popescu
Department of Government, University of Essex, Research Officer
University of Essex
Project on Political Transformation and the Electoral Process in Post-Communist Europe
Created by Marina Popescu and Martin Hannavy
Last updated December 12, 2002
Please send your comments and suggestions to mpope@essex.ac.uk