*Please note: There will be no presentation at this seminar. Attendees are expected to read a paper and be prepared to enter into a discussion. The paper is available below.
Explanations for the introduction of proportional representation (PR) in the first quarter of the 20th century focus primarily on parties’ expected losses of seats. We challenge the underlying presumption that parties can be treated as unitary actors. Instead, we argue that absolute majority rule (MR) in place in most Western European countries before the switch to PR did not threaten established parties’ electoral success, but their legislative cohesion.