Gerrymandering, or Manipulating the Shape of Electoral Districts Cover Image

Gerrymandering, czyli manipulowanie strukturą granic okręgów wyborczych
Gerrymandering, or Manipulating the Shape of Electoral Districts

Author(s): Michał Pierzgalski
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: gerrymandering; electoral system; elections in USA; single-member districts

Summary/Abstract: The objective of this paper is to explain the mechanics of gerrymandering and also to show how gerrymandering influence an electoral competition. In this article I describe the determinants of gerrymandering, as well as I try to assess whether gerrymandering is a threat to the quality of political competition in Poland. To show how gerrymandering works, I analyze the empirical examples of the partisan redistricting that has been observed in the USA, e.g. in Illinois. In my studies I used Geographic Information System (GIS) data to investigate the examples of gerrymandering. The article answers the following questions: What is gerrymandering and what is the impact of this phenomenon on the quality of democratic electoral competition? What are examples of manipulation of electoral district boundaries? How does gerrymandering influence the results of the elections and what are the reasons for using this tool in democracies? Is gerrymandering a threat to the quality of electoral competition in Poland?

  • Issue Year: 218/2015
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 7-39
  • Page Count: 7