Regional and National Elections in Eastern Europe

Part of the series Comparative Territorial Politics pp 1-33


Introduction: An Analytical Framework for Studying Territoriality of the Vote in Eastern Europe

  • Arjan H. SchakelAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Maastricht University
  • , Régis DandoyAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, University of Louvain


In this chapter we set out the objectives of the book and we introduce the common analytical framework to analyze territorial heterogeneity in the vote which is applied in each of the country chapters. We compare 10 Eastern European countries to 13 West European countries which allows us to explore differences in congruence between regional and national elections and second-order effects in regional elections. The comparison also helps us to suggest indicators for tracing regional election effects specific for Eastern European regions. In addition, we propose territorial cleavages, regional authority, and electoral rules as factors which may account for regional electoral dynamics in East European regions. The chapter ends with a discussion on the structure of the book.