Cleavages, Parties, and Voters: Studies from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania

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Kay Lawson, Andrea Römmele, Georgi Karasimeonov
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Political Science - 292 pages

This collection of essays summarizes one of the most fascinating developments of contemporary history: the peaceful revolution of the Central European nations from a long period of authoritarian regimes to Western democracy. It looks at the pre-Communist history of political parties and then examines the extent to which party politics has changed in the post-Cold War world.

After reviewing the various theories of cleavage and considering the interrelationships among cleavages, parties, and voters, 15 essays by indigenous scholars provide general historical background and identify specific new cleavages in each nation, and trace the activities of the more important parties in each nation. Voter response to the new political situation and parties is analyzed.


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Cleavage Structures and Party Systems in East and Central Europe
Cleavages Parties and Voters
Cleavages and Parties prior to 1989
Between Democracy and Authoritarianism in Bulgaria
Cleavages and Parties prior to 1989 in the Czech Republic
Hungarian Cleavages and Parties prior to 1989
Parties Party Systems and Cleavages in Poland 19181989
Romania Cleavages and Parties before 1989
Political Parties and Cleavage Crystallization in Poland 19891993
Romania Parties and Issues after 1989
How the Voters Respond
How the Voters Respond in Bulgaria
How the Voters Respond in the Czech Republic
Cleavages and Spaces of Competition in Hungary
How the Voters Respond Poland
Patterns of Voter Alignments in PresentDay Romania

Cleavages and Parties after 1989
Past and New Cleavages in PostCommunist Bulgaria
Czech Political Parties and Cleavages after 1989
Cleavages and Parties in Hungary after 1989
Further Readings
About the Contributors

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Page 9 - Whatever index of change is used - a measure of trends or any of several measures of fluctuations - the picture is the same: the electoral strength of most parties in Western nations since the war had changed very little from election to election, from decade to decade, or within the lifespan of a generation.
Page 6 - Must the new movement join larger and older movements to ensure access to representative organs or can it gain representation on its own? Fourth, the threshold of majority power: Are there built-in checks and counterforces against numerical majority rule in the system or will a victory at the polls give a party or an alliance power to bring about major structural changes in the national system?
Page 9 - In short, the first priority of social scientists concerned with the development of parties and party systems since 1945 is to explain the absence of change in a far from static period in political history.
Page 6 - Cleavages are the criteria which divide the members of a community or subcommunity into groups, and the relevant cleavages are those which divide groups with important political differences at specific times and places

About the author (1999)

KAY LAWSON is Professor of Science at San Francisco State University and the Sorbonne./e Among her earlier publications is How Political Parties Work(Praeger, 1994).

ANDREA RÓMMELE is a political scientist with the University of Mannheim.

GEORGI KARASIMEONOV is Professor of Political Science at Sofia University in Bulgaria.

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