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Zsolt Enyedi, Fernando Casal Bertoa: Party System Closure

Oxford University Press publishes the new book of Zsolt Enyedi, Lead Researcher of our De-/Re-Democratization Workgroup, co-authored with Fernando Casal Bertoa, entitled Party System Closure - Party Alliances, Government Alternatives, and Democracy in Europe.

The book maps trends in interparty relations in Europe from 1848 until 2019. It investigates how the length of democratic experience, the institutionalization of individual parties, the fragmentation of parliaments, and the support for anti-establishment parties, shape the degree of institutionalization of party systems.

The analyses presented answer the questions of whether predictability in partisan interactions is necessary for the survival of democratic regimes and whether it improves or undermines the quality of democracy. The developments of party politics at the elite level are contrasted with the dynamics of voting behavior. The comparisons of distinct historical periods and of macro-regions provide a comprehensive picture of the European history of party competition and cooperation.

The empirical overview presented in the book is based on a novel conceptual framework and features party composition data of more than a thousand European governments. Party systems are analyzed in terms of poles and blocs, and the degree of closure and of polarization is related to a new party system typology. The book demonstrates that information collected from partisan interactions at the time of government formation can reveal changes that characterize the party system as a whole.

Learn more about the book here.