№ 3, 2021
The article presents and justifies a method for determining the content of political dimensions. Political dimensions are calculated via factor analysis of party positions on popular political issues that are on the agenda. In addition, the author proposes to conduct a factor analysis of parties’ positions on specific issue domains — domestic politics, socio-economic policy, and systemic area. Factor loadings of the parties’ specific issue divisions are used as independent variables for building a regression model, whereas factor loadings of the same parties’ general issue divisions are used as a dependent variable. Such models allow the author to calculate the specific weight of this and the other specific issue division within each of the political dimensions and thus determine the content of the latter.
The application of the method to the analysis of the national discussion demonstrated that, in the late autumn of 2020, the first issue dimension was characterized by the confrontation between “hawks” and “doves” in the international affairs (systemic issue domain) and, additionally, the authorities vs. opposition competition in the socio-economic sphere; the second dimension — by the authorities vs. opposition competition in the domestic politics, coupled with the confrontation between “hawks” and “doves” in the foreign policy and the struggle between communists and liberals in the socio-economic sphere; the third one — by the confrontation between liberals and loyalists in the domestic politics and between authorities and Soviet traditionalists in the systemic sphere.
The application of the method to analyzing the results of the regional assemblies’ elections (2016—2020) allowed the author to conclude that the increase in the number of participating parties not only broadened dimensionality of the political space, but also increased the variety of issue divisions. The author also documented the change in the structure of the dominant specific issue divisions within the political dimensions, as well as the erosion of the political picture and the authorities vs. opposition confrontation coming to the forefront almost in every sphere.
The analysis shows that, on average, voters perceived political dimensions as independent political cleavages in only a third of the cases. The complex composition of these dimensions indicates an increase in the polyvariance of the mass political consciousness; however, this tendency is compensated by the prevalence of easier-to-perceive forms — the confrontation between the authorities and opposition in the political and socio-economic spheres.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Yu. G.Korgunyuk