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Unit 10: Party Systems Sociological and Institutional Explanations

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1 Unit 10: Party Systems Sociological and Institutional Explanations
Readings: Ware CH 6, Lipset and Rokkan, Duverger, Cox

2 Guiding Questions Which factors do sociological approaches emphasize?
What is a cleavage? How are they translated into party systems? What do theorists mean when they say party systems are “frozen”? Which factors do institutional approaches emphasize? What is Duverger’s Law?

3 Sociological Accounts
Lipset and Rokkan 1967 What shapes party systems?: Social cleavages. Cleavages: social divisions separating a given society. Research question: Why do we see two party systems in Anglo-American systems and multiparty systems in Europe? Answer: Resolution of historical conflicts (cleavage patterns) explain differences.

4 Early Cleavage Dimensions
Lipset and Rokkan 1967 Cleavages can be represented in a two dimensional space. Territorial dimension: Local opposition to encroachment by the center vs. conflict amongst political elites over control of the center (center-periphery) Functional dimension: Interest specific oppositions vs. ideological oppositions. Territorial cleavages exist before functional ones appear. Bottom line: State building activates center- periphery. As state solidifies, functional cleavages become salient.

5 Role of Political Parties
Lipset and Rokkan 1967 Societal conflict gives rise to political parties. Parties: act as agents of mobilization and integration. allow citizens to differentiate between office-holders and system of government. serve both expressive and representative functions But not all cleavages result in political oppositions. And not all oppositions result in parties.

6 Translating Cleavages into Parties
Lipset and Rokkan 1967 How are cleavages translated into political parties? State characteristics matter. A series of thresholds exist in the translation of cleavages to movements to political parties. Thresholds include: 1) Legitimation 2) Incorporation 3) Representation 4) Majority Power

7 Explaining European Party Systems: Critical Junctures and Critical Cleavages
Lipset and Rokkan 1967 How do we get from cleavages, to parties, to party systems? Exogenous shocks to the system (critical junctures) make certain cleavages salient. Parties form in response The timing of societal conflict coupled with which side “wins” shapes political parties. These cleavage patterns in turn, shape party systems (i.e. which types of parties exist within a system). Variation in cleavage patterns explains differences across systems. Identifies four major cleavages which shape European party systems. Shaped by national revolutions and industrialization. First three cleavages shape the center and the right; the last cleavage shapes the left.

8 Critical Junctures: National Revolutions
CENTER-PERIPHERY STATE-CHURCH Protestant Reformation Control by the center vs. control by the localities. Centralized state vs. ethnic, religious, linguistic communities in the periphery. Shapes: conservatives, separatists, (liberals) National Revolutions Post 1789-French Revol. State control of education vs. Church control. Shapes: Christian Democratic parties

9 Critical Junctures: Industrial Revolution
LAND-INDUSTRY OWNER-WORKER Russian Revolution Post 1917 Integrate workers vs. repressing labor. Allow access to system. Join an international movement? Shapes: socialists and communists. Industrial Revolution 19th century. Primary vs. secondary economy Agriculture vs. manufacturing Tariffs vs. free enterprise? Shapes: agrarians, (liberals).

Protestant Reformation State controls national church (center dominant) Church controls education Commitment to Landed Interests UK (Cons. vs. Libs.) Commitment to Industrial Interests Scandinavia (Cons vs. Agrarians/Rads) State controls with Catholic minority Prussia (Cons. vs. Liberals/Centre) Netherlands (Libs vs. Catholics) State allies with Catholic Church (periphery dominant) Secular revolution Spain (Libs. vs.. Catalan separatists) France/Italy (Libs/Rads vs.. Cons./Cath.) State allies with Catholic church Austria (Christians vs. Liberals vs. Industry) Belgium (Christians and Libs vs. Flemish Separatists) OWNER WORKER LABOR UNIFIED SOCIALISTS INTEGRATED COMM-N OWNER LABOR DIVIDED SOCIALISTS OPPRESSED COMM-Y WORKER LABOR UNITED SOCIALISTS INTEGRATED COMM-N OWNER WORKER LABOR DIVIDED SOCIALISTS OPPRESSED COMM-Y OWNER WORKER LABOR UNIFIED SOCIALISTS INTEGRATED COMM-N

11 Freezing of Party Systems
Lipset and Rokkan 1967 Analysis stops in the 1920’s. Modern party systems of reflect the same patterns of cleavage structure observed in the 1920’s. After universal suffrage, no further expansion of the electorate. Cleavage patterns and their resulting party systems are “frozen” Has fostered a great deal of debate

12 Evaluating Lipset and Rokkan
STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES Shows the importance of societal context in party formation. Explains why we see certain types of parties in some systems but not in others. Rise of post materialist parties (Greens) challenges the freezing hypothesis. Suggests that institutions really do not matter. But then why do politicians tweak them? No predictive ability. How do we know when a “critical juncture” will occur?

13 Electoral Systems: Overview
SMD/FPTP/PLURALITY PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION/PR Referred to as single member district (SMD) or “first past the post” A single candidate is elected in each electoral district (district magnitude =1). Whoever receives the most votes, wins. Generally manufactures a majority for the largest parties. Gerrymandering can reduce electoral turnover. Denies representation to smaller parties to provide stability in coalition creation. Various types of PR exist. Candidates are elected by party list in multi-member districts (district magnitude >1). Parties receive a number of seats proportional to their percentage of the vote. Electoral threshold determines which parties gain access to the legislature. Allows for more proportionate outcomes, but makes coalition formation more difficult.

14 Institutional Accounts
Duverger 1954 Two party systems are preferable to multiparty systems. Two party systems are “natural” as a “duality of tendencies” exist on any issue. Center is an artificial construct which does not truly exist. Always split by moderates of the left and right (i.e. superimposed dualisms). Two party systems reflect natural dualism of political issues. Preferable to multipartism

15 Dualism and the Two Party System
Duverger 1954 Not all “dualisms” are created equal. Certain dualisms can threaten democracy. Technical dualism: Differences between parties revolve around issues. Legitimacy of system and institutions accepted by both parties. Metaphysical dualism: Differences between parties revolve around fundamentals of the regime (i.e. institutions, etc). Threatens stability.

16 Electoral Institutions and Party Systems
Duverger 1954 Duvergers' Law: “simple majority single ballot systems favours the two-party system” Mechanical effects. Psychological effects. Multiparty systems promoted by proportional representation. PR systems lack the mechanical and psychological effects to reduce the number of parties. All parties possess internal divisions of opinion (factions). In systems with permissive electoral laws factionalization can result in the creation of center parties.

17 Overlapping Dualisms and Multipartyism
Multiparty systems can arise from: 1) party factions 2) overlapping dualisms. Overlapping dualisms exist where several issues are salient, but duality of opinions on these issues do not overlap. Example: French Fourth Republic Three Dualisms 1) Clerical-Anticlerical 2) East-West 3) Freedom-Planning

18 Evaluating Duverger CON Dualist” countries use FPTP
STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES PRO FPTP does reduce the number of parties. Although concentrated support can make a third party viable. Runoff systems using FPTP result in multiparty systems. Admits that while two party systems are “natural” electoral manipulation to reduce the number of parties may not always be wise. Example: Italian First Republic., Israel. CON Dualist” countries use FPTP Suggests that the selection of certain institutions may be based on societal attributes. Supportive of sociological explanations. The types of parties contesting elections “matter” Supportive of competition models.

19 Conclusions: Evaluating Explanations
Both overlook the ability of party leaders to shape cleavage patterns. Party leaders can exploit cleavages for electoral success. Cox 1997 Both cleavages and institutions matter; a “symbiotic relationship” exists between the two. Systems without multiple cleavages would not have multiple parties. Electoral system provides an upper limit (or upper bound) on the number of political parties within a system.

20 Next Unit Theme: Party Systems-Electoral Volatility Readings Ware CH 7
Reserves: Pedersen, Mair

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