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The Basic Dimension (Basic Conceptual Dimension) of Self-Organization (Political Self-Organization): Government/Opposition Cycles and Political Swings (Political Left/Right Swings), Peaceful Person Change of Head of Government and Peaceful Party Change of Head of Government in Global Comparison (2002–2016 and 1990–2017)

  • David F. J. Campbell
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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Democracy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Growth book series (DIG)

Abstract

Peaceful political swings and government/opposition cycles mark a crucial distinction and line of division between democracy and non-democracy. Democracies are characterized by substantially higher frequencies of government/opposition cycles (in more particular) and political swings (in more general) than non-democracies (where they are less frequent or do not exist at all). In the empirical macro-model, it is being verified that probabilities of a “peaceful person and/or party change of the (de facto) head of government” increase with increasing degrees of political freedom. Party change is here even more important than person change. Democracy introduced to the world the innovation (the political innovation) of peaceful government/opposition cycles as a standard procedure for government institutions and for how a democracy is operating and performing. This defines an (evolutionary) advantage of democracy over non-democracy. Government/opposition cycles can initiate political swings, for example, political left/right swings. Does a political system or system of governance not express any or not sufficiently regular government/opposition cycles, then it should be questioned, whether this political system still can represent a democracy. In democracies, the government/opposition cycles or political swings fulfill the following functions: (1) to balance power; (2) to allow a “cycle of seeking,” by supporting policy-seeking in contrast to office-seeking and vote-seeking; and (3) to balance policy.

Keywords

Government/opposition cycles Political left/right swings Political Self-Organization Political swings 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David F. J. Campbell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department for Continuing Education Research and Educational Management, Center for Educational Management and Higher Education DevelopmentDanube University KremsKrems an der DonauAustria
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.University of Applied Arts ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies (iff), Department of Science Communication and Higher Education Research (WIHO)Alpen-Adria-Universität KlagenfurtViennaAustria

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