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Zsolt Enyedi, Fernando Casal Bertoa: The Future Is Not What It Used to Be: The Failure of Bipolarisation

“Arguably, the most fundamental question one can ask about a party system is whether it is bipolar or not,” Zsolt Enyedi, Lead Researcher of our De-/Re-Democratization Workgroup and Fernando Casal Bertoa (University of Nottingham) write in their article in Irish Political Studies.

Based on theoretical conjectures and on tendencies one observed during the 1990s and early 2000s, as well as reflecting the position of the academic community at the time, “Peter Mair had a clear prediction: the future of party politics would be bipolar,” they continue. Using the Who Governs Europe dataset (see more in the authors book Party System Closure: Party Alliances, Government Alternatives, and Democracy in Europe), the article examines the validity of Mair's predictions.

Notwithstanding certain exceptions (e.g. Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Serbia), the article demonstrates that “the tendency towards increasingly bipolarized party politics has failed to materialize.” Next to the description of empirical patterns the article provides “suggestions on how to improve our conceptual apparatus of party system analysis.”

Read the full article here.

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