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Marriages of convenience: explaining party mergers in Europe

Marriages of convenience: explaining party mergers in Europe
Marriages of convenience: explaining party mergers in Europe
While party mergers can have important implications for the development of party systems, their causes have not been studied in a large-n comparative study. Using a new data set that covers 24 European democracies in the postwar period, this study shows that parties merge to overcome electoral thresholds or to form one of the two or three largest parties with an important role in the formation of government coalitions. However, mergers are not motivated by the goal to establish a majority, strongly dominant or largest party. The costs of mergers include ideological differences and various transaction costs related to reaching and implementing merger agreements. These transaction costs are lower if parties previously cooperated and if the partisanship of their voters is low.
political party, merger, office-seeking, central and eastern europe, western europe.
0022-3816
343-356
Ibenskas, Raimondas
160594d0-2151-4be5-8d77-90418186dbc1
Ibenskas, Raimondas
160594d0-2151-4be5-8d77-90418186dbc1

Ibenskas, Raimondas (2016) Marriages of convenience: explaining party mergers in Europe. The Journal of Politics, 78 (2), 343-356. (doi:10.1086/683685).

Record type: Article

Abstract

While party mergers can have important implications for the development of party systems, their causes have not been studied in a large-n comparative study. Using a new data set that covers 24 European democracies in the postwar period, this study shows that parties merge to overcome electoral thresholds or to form one of the two or three largest parties with an important role in the formation of government coalitions. However, mergers are not motivated by the goal to establish a majority, strongly dominant or largest party. The costs of mergers include ideological differences and various transaction costs related to reaching and implementing merger agreements. These transaction costs are lower if parties previously cooperated and if the partisanship of their voters is low.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 8 January 2016
Published date: April 2016
Keywords: political party, merger, office-seeking, central and eastern europe, western europe.
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 386722
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/386722
ISSN: 0022-3816
PURE UUID: bee4ca7b-f847-4694-a9f0-b79cc7f02bcd
ORCID for Raimondas Ibenskas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4128-9464

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Feb 2016 15:16
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 12:32

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Author: Raimondas Ibenskas ORCID iD

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