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Electoral Markets and Stable States

  • Peter Mair

Abstract

This chapter begins with three clarifications. First, the markets to which it refers are electoral markets, and, within these markets, the pattern of competition with which it is concerned is inter-party competition. As is evident, parties will compete with one another when they have a market in which to compete, that is, when there are voters in competition; and the assumption which underlies the chapter, albeit guardedly so, is that the actual extent of inter-party competition, and the competitiveness of parties, is at least in part a function of the relative size of the electoral market. As the market expands, therefore, or as the number of voters in competition increases, parties are likely to become more competitive. As the market contracts, on the other hand, and as the number of voters in competition declines, parties are likely to become less competitive.

Keywords

Electoral Market Small State Collective Identity Party System Electoral Competition 
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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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Roberto D’Alimonte, ‘Democrazia e Competizione’, Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politico 19, 1 (1989) 115–33.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
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  4. 3.
    See Stefano Bartolini and Peter Mair, Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability: The Stabilization of European Electorates, 1885–1985 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
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    Giovanni Sartori, ‘From the Sociology of Politics to Political Sociology’, in S. M. Lipset (ed), Politics and the Social Sciences (New York: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 65–100.Google Scholar
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    See Sigmund Neumann, ‘Toward a Comparative Study of Political Parties’, in Sigmund Neumann (ed.) Modern Political Parties (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), pp. 404–5.Google Scholar
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    Otto Kirchheimer, “The Transformation of the Western European Party Systems’, in Joseph LaPalombara and Myron Weiner (eds), Political Parties and Political Development. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), p. 184.Google Scholar
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    See Stefano Bartolini, ‘Il Mutamento del Sistema Partitico Francese’, Il Mulino 30 (1981) 169–219.Google Scholar
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    See Peter Mair, The Changing Irish Party System: Organization, Ideology and Electoral Competition (London: Pinter, 1987), pp. 86–9.Google Scholar
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    See Arend Lijphart, ‘Typologies of Democratic Systems’, Comparative Politics 1, 1 (1968) 3–44, and his Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies, ch. 3; See also Hans Daalder, ‘The Consociational Democracy Theme’, World Politics 26, 4 (1974) 604–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Adriano Pappalardo, ‘The Conditions for Consociational Democracy: A Logical and Empirical Critique’, European Journal of Political Research 9, 4 (1981) 365–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Mean electoral volatility is calculated according to the formula proposed by Mogens Pedersen, ‘The Dynamics of European Party Systems: Changing Patterns of Electoral Volatility’, European Journal of Political Research 7, 1 (1979) 1–26, and offers a useful index of the aggregate electoral change from one election to the next, and hence also offers a useful summary indicator of the potential openness of the electoral market. The index is calculated by measuring the sum of the percentage gains of all winning parties in an election (or the sum of the losses, which is the same figure), and has a theoretical range running from 0 (all parties retain the same share of the vote as in the previous election) to 100 (all existing parties lose all their votes to wholly new parties). The figures cited in this paper are drawn from Bartolini and Mair, Identity, Competition and Electoral Availability. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Ian McAllister, The Northern Ireland Social and Democratic and Labour Party (London: Macmillan, 1977), p. 16Google Scholar
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    See Peter J. Katzenstein, Small States in World Markets: Industrial Policy in Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985)Google Scholar
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    See Stefano Bartolini, ‘The European Left Since World War I: Size, Composition and Electoral Development’, in Daalder and Mair (eds), Western European Party Systems: Continuity and Change, pp. 139–76 and Adam Przeworski and John Sprague, Paper Stones: A History of Electoral Socialism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986). Note also the emphasis by Katzenstein, Small States, on the importance of proportional electoral formulae and the political fragmentation of the right.Google Scholar
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    See also Stein Rokkan, ‘Towards a Generalized Concept of VerzuilingPolitical Studies 25, 4 (1977) 563–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    As in the Netherlands and Denmark, for example: see Galen A. Irwin and J. J. M. van Holsteyn, ‘Decline of the Structured Model of Electoral Competition’, in Hans Daalder and Galen A. Irwin (eds), Politics in the Netherlands: How Much Change? (London: Cass, 1989), pp. 21–41,Google Scholar
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© Michael Moran and Maurice Wright 1991

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  • Peter Mair

There are no affiliations available

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