Patterns of political instability: Affiliation patterns of politicians and voters in post-communist Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

  • Marcus Kreuzer
  • Vello Pettai
Research Forum


In contrast to established party systems, the transformation of post-communist party systems is not only shaped by shifts in electoral preferences, but also by the changing organizational loyalties of politicians. Post-communist politicians pursue a wide range of organizational strategies such as party fusions, fissions, start-ups, and interparty switching. By focusing on the interaction between these organizational strategies and voters’ electoral preferences, we argue that the seeming instability of post-communist party systems actually reveals distinct patterns of political change. The article develops an analytical framework, which incorporates politician-driven interparty mobility and voter-induced electoral change. It uses this framework to show that the apparently inchoate party systems of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania actually follow definable modes of transformation.


Comparative International Development Vote Share Party System Liberal Democratic Party Organizational Affiliation 
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© Springer 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Kreuzer
  • Vello Pettai

There are no affiliations available

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