№ 1, 2020
In the recent decades one of the main trends in Western democracies has been the emergence of new political players articulating the changing demands of the society (populists, nationalists, Eurosceptics, feminists, environmental movements etc.). By transforming into parties, these players challenge the existing party system, which makes it more volatile.
In the research presented in the article, the authors focused on the dynamics of the nationalization of party systems as one of the components of volatility, reflecting the territorial heterogeneity of the electoral support of political players. Their analysis of the last 4—6 electoral cycles in 18 Western democracies, which they compared with the elections of the 1960—1970s (viewed as a starting point) revealed the divergence of the modern processes of party system nationalization. According to the authors, the development paths of these processes are primarily determined by the within-country political context and individual characteristics of the evolution of party systems and almost never follow the patterns revealed in the earlier studies. Not only did parties with a long history of being active on the political stage keep the support of the electorate, but in some cases they even strengthened their positions. However, it is the old parties that are responsible for the main challenges for the homogeneity of the electoral space. The most successful new parties are not inferior to the old ones in their level of nationalization, which on the whole indicates a high degree of consolidation of the electoral space of Western democracies.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Luizidis Elizaveta