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EXPLAINING PARTY SYSTEMS III Lijphart 78-89; Inglehart and Flanagan, Flanagan and Dalton.

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Presentation on theme: "EXPLAINING PARTY SYSTEMS III Lijphart 78-89; Inglehart and Flanagan, Flanagan and Dalton."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXPLAINING PARTY SYSTEMS III Lijphart 78-89; Inglehart and Flanagan, Flanagan and Dalton

2 Guiding Questions  How do party systems “freeze”? How do they “thaw”?  What is realignment?  How does realignment affect politics?  What is dealignment?  How does dealignment affect politics?

3 Verzuiling and the Freezing of Party Systems  Lipset and Rokkan 1967  Party systems are frozen in the aftermath of the extension of universal suffrage.  How do party systems “freeze”?  Rokkan 1977  Verzuiling = Pillarization  Vertical networks used by societal groups and political parties to promote group identity.  Increases social distance when physical distance no longer ensures cultural or ideological distinctiveness.  As other entities become critical for the dissemination of political information, pillarization declines (ontzuiling).  Ontzuiling is often linked to the “thawing” of party systems.  Typically via realignment.  Why do we care?  Can create opportunities for extreme parties  Can indicate a lack of connection to the political system.

4 Realignment  Flanagan and Dalton 1984; 1990  Changes in the salience of certain cleavages changes partisan alignments  Weaker party attachment creates volatility  How do cleavages weaken?  Generational change Younger generations do not share the same intensity on a given issue as older generations.  Realignment is cyclical.  Differentiation of party appeals at first, then convergence over time as salience of cleavage wanes.  Expects volatility to increase prior to realignment, level off after and then slowly increase.  What types of events can restructure partisan alignments?  Critical junctures.

5 End of the Cold War: Critical Juncture?  Ware 1996  Speculates about what a “critical juncture” might look like  Suggests the end of the Cold War has shaped political competition in some systems.  Cold War “anchored” several advanced democratic parties systems (e.g. Italy)  Notes:  1) Changes in vote share of governing parties.  2) Rise of new parties.  But these changes may be  1) Temporary for governing parties; retrenchment at subsequent elections  2) Effective in only a small number of cases  3) Temporary for new parties; difficult to gain a foothold within the system

6 Postmaterialism: Critical Juncture?  Inglehart 1977, 1987  Priorities in advanced democracies shifting from a materialist towards a postmaterialist phase.  Advanced democracies exhibit concerns for socio-tropic concerns rather than ownership of the means of production.  Voters place priority on needs that are in short supply.  Younger groups have different needs than older cohorts.  Relative affluence in postwar era shifts outlook.  Voters retain values structure throughout their lives  Although changes take time to manifest themselves in the party system.

7 Postmaterialism and the Left  Inglehart 1987  Absence of total war facilitates shift to postmaterialism. Policies of state intervention and protection of the welfare state pass the “point of diminishing returns.” As societies become “more equal” the coalition in favor of further redistribution declines.  Consequences:  Left is a victim of their own “success” Splits on the left: Sense of community and quality of life issues trump issues of class for middle and upper class voters (shift to the Greens)  Counter-response on the right Restoring “order” can prompt a shift from working c lass voters on the left to parties of the right (shift to Conservatives, Christian Democrats or far right)

8 Postmaterialism and the Right  Flanagan 1987  Libertarianism and postmaterialism similar, but materialism should be more tightly defined.  Focus on voters privileging a stable economy, lowering prices, etc.  Inglehart ignores the ‘new right”  Authoritarianism has also resulted from postmaterialism Intolerance towards outsiders, strong support for law and order, patriotism, etc. These voters are shifting from the old left to the new right.

9 Postmaterialism and Social Democracy  Kitschelt 1993, 1994  Social democratic party success appears to be on the decline.  Not a function of weakening class distinctions but rather one of party positioning.  Postmaterialism has created a left- libertarian and a right-authoritarian cleavage.  Salience depends on “success” of the social welfare system.  Increase social welfare vs. decreasing size of the state  Social democratic parties which position themselves effectively can stave off decline.  Must balance appeals for redistribution with more libertarian concerns in order to regain strength.

10 Postmaterialism and the Extreme Right  Bale 2003  Green parties are becoming more mainstream, while far right parties are becoming more common.  Historically, extreme right parties have not been invited to form coalitions.  But mainstream parties of the right are shifting in this regard and relying on their votes to form governments. Recent decisions by mainstream parties to take a tougher line on issues such as immigration legitimate these parties

11 Globalization: Critical Juncture?  Kriesi 2008  Speculates that globalization has fostered a new cleavage.  Divides those that benefit from globalization (integration) from those who do not (demarcation)  Integration/demarcation cleavage is a result of the “weakening” of the state’s ability to control changes in economics, politics, and culture.  Result: Political parties stoke anxieties amongst those who “lose” from globalization. Manifests itself in the rise of populist right parties (i.e. extreme right).  Kriesi 2009  Further research suggests that this new cleavage is not as pervasive as previously thought.  Has not eclipsed other traditional cleavages in most countries.

12 Conclusions: Realignment  Lijphart 1999  Identifies seven issue dimensions which can be found within the thirty six democracies he studies.  Although each issue dimension is not always salient in every system.  Left-right dimension is salient in all of the systems studied.  Postmateralist cleavage salient in 4 systems.  Germany, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands  Although we see green parties in many systems  Does not find support for a globalization cleavage.  Notes a linkage between the number of salient issue dimensions and number of political parties.  An increase in salient issue dimensions promotes more parties  Taagepera and Grofman 1985: N= I+1

13 Dealignment  Party system change may be a result of changing relationships between voters and the system rather than new cleavages within society.  Dalton 1999; Dalton et al 1999  Partisan ID is fundamental to shaping the relationship between voters and the political system.  Focuses on the extent to which voters remain attached to political parties.  Notes a decline in partisanship in advanced democracies. Economic development is weakening the relevance of political parties. Higher levels of education and access to political information undercuts the role of political parties. Decline is an ongoing trend, not temporary.  Consequences:  1) Political parties functions being eclipsed by other actors  2) Weaker levels of partisan identification  3) Candidate vs. party focused appeals

14 The Case for Dealignment? Education  Dalton et al 1999  Hypothesis: If dealignment is occurring due to greater access to education and mass media, we should see a decline in partisanship concentrated in younger age groups.  Claims support for this hypothesis.  Hypothesis: If greater education and greater access to political information is relevant to dealignment, we should see independent voters who are more, not less involved in their political systems.  Claims support for this hypothesis.

15 The Case for Dealignment?: Electoral Participation  Wattenberg 1999  Hypothesis: Dealignment should be associated with a decline in turnout.  Focuses on turnout amongst the percentage of the voting age population entitled to vote (not registered voters) who actually cast a valid ballot for the lower house of parliament.  Finds a decline in turnout in 17 out of 19 cases.  Unclear whether or not this is a short term or a long term trend.

16 The Case for Dealignment? Volatility  Hypotheses: Dealignment should also be associated with changes in party politics  1) If dealignment weakens electoral stability, we should see higher levels of electoral volatility.  2) We should also observe more political parties.  3) We should observe increased levels of split ticket voting and divided government.  Claim support for all three

17 The Case for Dealignment: Candidates and Parties  Dalton et al 1999  Dealignment shifts politics away from parties and towards individual candidates.  The spread of primaries coupled with mass media campaigns facilitate this.  Hypothesis: We should expect to see more candidate centered campaigns.  Claims support for hypothesis. Argues that the effects are greater in presidential over parliamentary systems.

18 Dealignment and Democracy  On one hand, voters are still connected to the political process.  But they are using alternative methods to obtain political information.  Dalton et al 1999  May provide for a more thorough vetting of candidates.  Could also provide a platform for extreme parties or demagogues.  Decreased turnout can make it easier for parties to win elections; able to limit their appeals to their base.  Putnam 1995, 2000  Argues that a decline in turnout indicates a weakness within democracy  Wattenberg 1999  Parties are no longer tapping into electorates; problematic.

19 Conclusions on Dealignment: Caveats  Small number of data points lead to coefficients that are not significant at conventional levels.  If voters are increasingly more sophisticated politically, why would they be drawn to extreme ideologies?  If they are open to these appeals, what does this suggest?  Disagreement over whether actual disengagement is actually occurring.  And whether this is damaging for democracy.

20 Conclusions  Note: This concludes the unit on party politics  Students writing on this unit must submit their memo in class next week.  Theme: Government Formation  Readings:  Lijphart and ; Laver and Schofield


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