Maurice Duverger

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Maurice Duverger (born June 5, 1917) is a French jurist, sociologist and politician. He was born in Angoulême, Charente.

Starting his career as a jurist at the University of Bordeaux, Duverger became more and more involved in political science and in 1948 founded one of the first faculties for political science in Bordeaux, France. An emeritus professor of the Sorbonne and member of the FNSP, he has published many books and articles in newspapers, such as Corriere della Sera, la Repubblica, El Pais, and especially Le Monde.

Duverger has studied the evolution of political systems and the institutions that operate in diverse countries, showing a preference for empirical methods of investigation rather than philosophical reasoning.

He devised a theory which became known as Duverger's law, which identifies a correlation between a first-past-the-post election system and the formation of a two-party system. While analysing the political system of France, he coined the term semi-presidential system.

From 1989 until 1994 he was a member of the Group of the Party of European Socialists in the European Parliament.

In 1981 he was elected a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.



At the beginning of his career Duverger taught as a specialist in administrative law in Bordeaux. Thanks to his colleague Pierre Maydieu, who also introduced him to the newspapers Le Monde and Libération, he began to deal with the sociology of the right and Constitutional law.

In his first publication, "The Constitutions of France" (1944), he explained that the French constitution of 1940 created a "de facto government“. In Libération he also analyzed the legitimacy of the new government of France and devoted himself to social-scientific theory.

In 1946 he expanded his theses, with a special interest in the relation between electoral systems and party systems. This interest is at the heart of his most important publication: "The Political Parties" (1951). The work is one of the classics of party research, translated into several languages. That thesis led to Duverger's law, and later he coined the term "semi-presidentialism".

Duverger devoted his career to studying political science subjects and combining them with juridical matters. Among the rest, thus the respect occupies him between social forces and juridical basic conditions. Already shortly after the second world war he exerted himself for the fact that policy sciences flow in increasingly onto the university apprenticeship. Thus in 1948 he founded the institute of political studies in Bordeaux.

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