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MyoungHo Park , "Sub-National Sources of Multipartism in Parliamentary Elections: Evidence from Korea," Party Politics, 9 (July 2003),503-522.

First Paragraph:
The question of how distinct electoral systems influence the degree of electoral multipartism or partisan fragmentation has occupied a central place in the study of comparative political institutions. The most debated puzzle in the field is 'whether majority/plurality electoral formulae or small magnitude electoral systems have the capacity to exercise a reductive effect on the number of political parties and whether such systems encourage centripetal drives within the party systems' (Siavelis, 1997: 652), as shown in Duverger's Law. In the tradition of the 'institutionalist' explanations of electoral multipartism in legislative elections,' the importance of presidential and local elections is taken into account to explain the degree of electoral partisan competition in legislative elections.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Local partisan characteristics and legislative electoral multipartism across districts
Table 2: District partisan characteristics and legislative electoral multipartism across districts
Appendix 1: Elections in Korea since 1987
Appendix 2: Level of electoral multipartism across districts

Last Paragraph:
Extending current research on the importance of sub-national local elections to affect legislative electoral multipartism, I suggest that local/district partisan fragmentation in important local elections creates different partisan characteristics across legislative districts and influences the degree of electoral multipartism in a given district in legislative elections. As in federalist systems, provincial and sub provincial elections have a profound impact on the district-level electoral partisan competition for legislative seats in a decentralized unitary system that shows social/political heterogeneity along regional lines such as Korea. Research on the degree of electoral multipartism in legislative elections would be enhanced if greater consideration were given to the potential impact of sub-national and sub provincial elections on the level of multipartism across electoral districts in legislative elections.