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Patterns of party change in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990-2015

Patterns of party change in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990-2015
Patterns of party change in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990-2015
While parties in many new democracies frequently split, merge, change labels, and make and break electoral alliances, comparative systematic research on how these changes are related to each other is limited. This study addresses this gap by conceptualizing change as a result of intra-party conflicts, conflicts in or consolidation of existing electoral alliances, and the formation of new alliances and mergers. We develop measures for each type of change using an original dataset that covers almost 800 party-electoral term dyads in 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the period between 1990 and 2015. Our findings contradict the idea of party change as a uni-dimensional phenomenon. Instead we find that exits from existing electoral alliances, their consolidation through mergers, and the formation of new alliances and mergers are moderately related to each other, but not with intra-party splits. Our findings suggest that parties and their alliances structure political competition in Central and Eastern Europe relatively well. Moreover, negative consequences of party change on representation and accountability are limited, as under the relative absence of multiple and nearly simultaneous changes in party identity the electorate should be able to follow party evolution.
1354-0688
1-12
Ibenskas, Raimondas
160594d0-2151-4be5-8d77-90418186dbc1
Sikk, Allan
6d0866ac-3c05-46af-9ab8-7b1ca86fbb5d
Ibenskas, Raimondas
160594d0-2151-4be5-8d77-90418186dbc1
Sikk, Allan
6d0866ac-3c05-46af-9ab8-7b1ca86fbb5d

Ibenskas, Raimondas and Sikk, Allan (2016) Patterns of party change in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990-2015. Party Politics, 1-12. (doi:10.1177/1354068816655571).

Record type: Article

Abstract

While parties in many new democracies frequently split, merge, change labels, and make and break electoral alliances, comparative systematic research on how these changes are related to each other is limited. This study addresses this gap by conceptualizing change as a result of intra-party conflicts, conflicts in or consolidation of existing electoral alliances, and the formation of new alliances and mergers. We develop measures for each type of change using an original dataset that covers almost 800 party-electoral term dyads in 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the period between 1990 and 2015. Our findings contradict the idea of party change as a uni-dimensional phenomenon. Instead we find that exits from existing electoral alliances, their consolidation through mergers, and the formation of new alliances and mergers are moderately related to each other, but not with intra-party splits. Our findings suggest that parties and their alliances structure political competition in Central and Eastern Europe relatively well. Moreover, negative consequences of party change on representation and accountability are limited, as under the relative absence of multiple and nearly simultaneous changes in party identity the electorate should be able to follow party evolution.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 May 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 July 2016
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397775
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397775
ISSN: 1354-0688
PURE UUID: 4a3acc48-92bf-4251-b513-d351126f8afc
ORCID for Raimondas Ibenskas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4128-9464

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Jul 2016 08:27
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 06:33

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Contributors

Author: Raimondas Ibenskas ORCID iD
Author: Allan Sikk

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