Comparative European Politics

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 48–85

Family meetings: Ideological convergence within party families across Europe, 1945–2009

  • Valeria Camia
  • Daniele Caramani
Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/cep.2011.1

Cite this article as:
Camia, V. & Caramani, D. Comp Eur Polit (2012) 10: 48. doi:10.1057/cep.2011.1


This article looks at ideological convergence within party families in 30 European countries. Its goal is to assess the degree of left–right convergence over time between national political parties and their electorates within the same family. The analysis concentrates on seven major party families, and within-family convergence is used to assess the degree to which functional oppositions prevail over territorial ones as an indicator of Europeanisation. Ideological convergence is measured through quantitative indicators on the left–right axis at two levels. First, at the elite level the article measures within-family convergence since 1945 with manifesto data. Second, at the electorate level the article measures convergence of voters of a same family since 1970 with survey data. Economic and cultural left–right dimensions are distinguished. Results attest to high and persistent long-term ideological cohesiveness at both elite and electorate level (especially on the economic left–right dimension) pointing to a Europeanised party system.


ideological convergenceparty familiesEuropeanisationleft–rightmanifestossurveys

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valeria Camia
    • 1
  • Daniele Caramani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of St GallenSt GallenSwitzerland