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The Institutionalization of Party Systems – Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia in a Comparative Perspective

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Jurek, Petr

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Abstract This article focuses on the analysis of the institutionalization of party systems. The objects of the analysis are four party systems of post-communist countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia. To assess the degree of institutionalization, three quantitative criteria are used: electoral volatility, the effective number of parties and the parliamentary age of parties. The main aims of the analysis are to compare aforementioned party systems’ degree of institutionalization and simultaneously confirm the assumption that post-communist party systems are in a far more heterogeneous category than is often suggested. At first, the article defines and explains the institutionalization of party systems and uncovers the possibilities of its quantitative assessment. Then, the level of institutionalization of Bulgarian, Croatian, Romanian and Slovenian party systems is evaluated. There are two main conclusions. First, the institutionalization of a party system in the case of Slovenia and Croatia is on a considerably higher level than in the cases of Bulgaria and Romania, although there is some positive progress in the case of Romania in the last five years. Second, common trends, connected with institutionalization and often mentioned as overall, don’t have a strong reliance on empirical measures.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords institutionalization; party system; Bulgaria; Romania; Croatia; Slovenia; electoral volatility; effective number of parties; age of parliamentary parties
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 110-123
Journal Politics in Central Europe, 6 (2010) 1
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications