Rein Taagepera

Professor Emeritus of University of Tartu and University of California, Irvine



  • Would Estonia’s Electoral Law Allow for a “Polish Outcome”?

    Various circumstances combined enable a party in Poland to win a majority of parliamentary seats with 38 per cent of the votes. It is now using this fluke outcome to ensconce itself permanently, following the Hugo Chavez path in Venezuela. In Estonia, the largest party has rarely reached even 30 percent of the seats, and fond opinions have been voiced that Estonia’s electoral law supposedly prevents a one-party majority. This article reviews Estonia’s electoral history and the desiderata for adequate electoral rules. It presents the universal laws that connect the number and size of parties to the number of seats available, as documented in Shugart and Taagepera, Votes from Seats (2017).

  • Immigration culture in a childless country

    08 June 2016


    RiTo No. 33, 2016

    It is a basic human right to leave one’s country freely. To enter another country freely is not. Permission is needed. It is common decency to give shelter to refugees when they are few. But one has the right to control one’s borders when there are so many refugees or other would-be immigrants that the society would crumble under their weight, or would change beyond recognition.

  • Simplification of Electoral Rules

    18 June 2001


    RiTo No. 3, 2001

    Participation in the Riigikogu elections has tumbled to a worrisome degree because all too many people think popular vote has no impact.

  • Parliamentary Culture as a Mirror of General Intercommunication Culture

    31 October 2000


    RiTo No. 2, 2000

    This comment distinguishes between two ideal types of democratic thinking – majoritarian and consensus democracy – on the basis of Arend Lijphart Patterns of Democracy (1999).