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Political Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 443–469 | Cite as

Toward the formation of a partisan alignment in France

  • Roy Pierce
Article

Abstract

This article investigates the extent to which and the ways in which a basic partisan alignment appeared to be forming in France between 1958 and 1988. During that period, the incidence of party identification rose from abnormally low to normal levels, and the composition of the alignment evolved from indeterminacy, through a left-right standoff, to Socialist party predominance. The basic question asked is how a partisan alignment is createdin the first place. The main elements of the answer suggested are by simplifying, clarifying, and stabilizing the terms of electoral choice. This process is traced closely, with special reference to the incidence of PI and the composition of the alignment by age in 1988, and including a comparison between France in 1968 and the U.S. in 1932. Finally, the fragility of the 1988 alignment is underscored. Comparatively new and shaped mainly by the partisan identifications of the younger citizens, the 1988 alignment was vulnerable to any weakening of the conditions that contributed to creating it. The party with the most to lose was the Socialist party, which had gained the most while the party system stabilized and the incidence of party identification rose.

Keywords

Normal Level Special Reference Main Element Basic Question Party System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy Pierce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor

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