Cleavage Politics in Old and New Democracies: A Review of the Literature and Avenues for Future Research

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Show simple item record BORNSCHIER, Simon 2009-04-08T15:53:44Z 2009-04-08T15:53:44Z 2009
dc.identifier.issn 1830-7728
dc.description.abstract Stein Rokkan’s comparative historical account of party system formation in Western Europe has proved enormously influential due to the appeal of tying individual political behaviour to large-scale historical transformations. This article reviews the literature that has studied the genesis of cleavagebased party systems, as well as theoretical and empirical assessments of the degree to which they have remained “frozen”. If it is adapted to allow for a more dynamic perspective, the cleavage approach also helps us to make sense of recent transformations of Western European party systems by pointing to new “critical junctures” that are likely to have a lasting impact on party competition and on individual political behaviour. In the second part of this review, I discuss applications of the approach outside Western Europe, focusing above all on Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. If it is modified according to the specific historical trajectories of these countries, the cleavage concept helps us understand both how party systems become institutionalized in new democracies, as well as the type of conflicts they are likely to reflect. Furthermore, criticisms of social structural determinism have resulted in a new generation of scholarship that insists on paying more attention to the interplay of structure and agency in forging long-term bonds between parties and voters. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher European University Institute
dc.relation.ispartofseries EUI MWP en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 2009/07 en
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject Linkages en
dc.subject Cleavages en
dc.subject Stein Rokkan en
dc.subject Party systems en
dc.subject Political representation en
dc.subject Western Europe en
dc.subject Democracy en
dc.subject Latin America en
dc.subject Central Eastern Europe en
dc.title Cleavage Politics in Old and New Democracies: A Review of the Literature and Avenues for Future Research en
dc.type Working Paper en
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