Maurice Duverger cover

photo credits: Anonimous - CC-BY-3.0

Maurice Duverger

French academic

1917   -   2014

country of citizenship: France
educated at: University of Bordeaux
occupation: jurist, politician, political scientist, university teacher
award received: Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, Order of the Francisque, Commander of the National Order of Merit, Honorary doctor of the University of Geneva, honorary doctor of the University of Warsaw, honorary doctor of the Autonomous University of Barcelona
position held: member of the European Parliament, director

Maurice Duverger (5 June 1917 – 16 December 2014) was a French jurist, sociologist and politician 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 País, and especially Le Monde. Duverger 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 Italian Communist Party, later the Democratic Party of the Left, in the European Parliament. In 1981 he was elected a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He died at the age of 97 on 16 December 2014.
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