Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Electoral Systems in the Middle East and Beyond

Electoral Systems in the Middle East and Beyond

Electoral Systems in the Middle East and Beyond

An FPRI Interactive Infographic & Country Study Resource

The “Electoral Systems” project is an educational resource with a two-pronged purpose: to give a general overview of electoral processes, and to provide country specific examples in the Middle East demonstrating the application of these discrete electoral systems enacted. Through this interactive infographic, students are able explore the characteristics of various electoral systems, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and a simulated “ballot box” to understand how each would function in a hypothetical election. The infographic allows them to navigate the electoral processes themselves, from dividing districts to allocating seats in the legislature, all the while comparing the merits and drawbacks of each method. Building on these general concepts, the interactive infographic explores four Middle Eastern country studies: Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Of the four, Lebanon has a “plurality” electoral system, Israel and Turkey have “proportional representation” systems, and Jordan has a “mixed” system. Within each country study, there is also a case study that illustrates how different electoral systems operate on the ground, how they have developed over time, and the ongoing debates about reforms for the future.

The infographic will help university and high school students in the U.S. to better grasp the intricacies of electoral systems used abroad and the way they differ from the U.S. election process. It will challenge students to evaluate the effect of geopolitics on shaping electoral systems and electoral system reform. Knowledge of political structures is essential to the study of both domestic matters in Middle Eastern countries and U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East (as well as other regions, for that matter). Through visualization, these concepts will come alive for students and teachers alike.​

*The infographic has multiple pages. To navigate through the pages use the clickable orange buttons. Click on the “Home” button on any page to return to the beginning.