The Development of the Social Structures and the Formation of New Cleavages

  • François Bafoil
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


In order to grasp the interactions of the exogenous constraints of the type exerted by the EU and trade globalization with those of endogenous change, the last area we have to analyze is that of developments in the social structures. These developments reflect both a major adjustment to specifically Western dynamics and the maintenance of many traditional components. The elements involved may be the size of the primary sector in certain countries or the strengthening of religiosity in others. These are important factors that lead us to conclude that the processes of modernization are complex, that there are divergent trajectories in the two halves of Europe and that social interests slowly become structured during this period. They are so many elements that enable us to specify the nature of the social divides underlying partisan orientations in this part of Europe that, in this respect also, differs from the Western half. On the basis of this analysis, the typology of “cleavages” drawn up by Rokkan and Lipset is thrown substantially into question. The reference to recent history has been used to highlight the decisive impact of the Communist period on partisan positionings. The new inequalities that emerged in the post-1989 period, together with the European Union, have appeared to be powerful factors influencing the formation of political cleavages.


Labor Market Educational Qualification Common Agricultural Policy Informal Economy National Sovereignty 
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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© François Bafoil 2009

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  • François Bafoil

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