Identity, Competition and Electoral Availability: The Stabilisation of European Electorates 1885-1985

Framsida
ECPR Press, 1 sep. 2007 - 344 sidor

The question of whether Western party systems were becoming more unstable and electorates more volatile had already become central to the study of modern European by the end of the 1970s. Much of the literature at the time stressed how Western Europe was experiencing a phase of party breakdown, dealignment and decay, and how traditional mass politics was in the process of transformation. In this first book-length analysis of the subject, Stefano Bartolini and Peter Mair convincingly demonstrated how this emphasis on change had been largely misconceived and misplaced. This was the first systematic and conceptually sophisticated work to bring together the study of electoral change and cleavage persistence, and has since become one of the landmark volumes in the study of electoral politics in Europe. The authors examine patterns of electoral persistence and change in Western Europe between 1885 and 1985. They assess both what these patterns indicate with regard to the persistence of traditional cleavages, particularly the class cleavage, and how these patterns vary according to political, institutional and social factors. They analyse the various patterns of competition which have characterised elections across the different European countries and in different historical periods, and how cleavages can persist and re-emerge even in the face of widespread social change. They develop a sophisticated model of aggregate electoral change, in which national electorates are conceived as being torn between the stability brought about by cultural identities and organisational structures and the stimuli for change that are provoked by party competition and institutional change. Identity, Competition and Electoral Availability was awarded the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research and is now reprinted for the first time in paperback.

 

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Innehåll

New introduction by the authors
1
Preface and acknowledgments
7
tables
19
Understanding electoral instability
27
figures
32
Aggregate volatility as a system property
33
Theoretical variants
40
Interpreting electoral change a debate
59
Electoral participation
164
Variation between countries
171
The space of competition
181
An interpretation of negative findings
188
Space and segmentation
195
Social homogeneity versus closure of mobility
204
The organisational dimension
213
Cultural heterogeneity and organisational density
219

Parties and cleavages
65
Variance in classcleavage volatility
76
The relationship between cleavage volatility and total volatility
83
Electoral instability and classcleavage
96
The salience of the class cleavage
103
a summary
117
Introduction
125
Numbers of parties and electoral volatility
131
Institutional constraints and voter opportunities
141
Majoritarianism versus proportionality
149
Disproportionality and volatility
155
Explaining electoral instability
233
Electoral phases
240
spatial organisational and cultural factors
248
A parsimonious model
255
Socioorganisational bonds institutional
261
polarised pluralism and consociational democracy
271
Rules for calculation and notes on sources
283
database
293
Index
321
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Om författaren (2007)

Stefano Bartolini is currently Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence. 

Peter Mair was Professor of Comparative Politics at the European University Institute in Florence and at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He was co-editor of the journal West European Politics.

Bibliografisk information