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Party System Volatility in Post-Communist Europe

  • Charles Crabtree and Matt Golder
Abstract

In their 2014 article in the British Journal of Political Science, Eleanor Neff Powell and Joshua A. Tucker examine the determinants of party system volatility in post-communist Europe. Their central conclusion is that replacement volatility – volatility caused by new party entry and old party exit – is driven by long-term economic performance. This article shows that this conclusion is based entirely on a miscalculation of the long-term economic performance of a single country, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The study’s reanalysis suggests that little is known about what causes party system volatility in post-communist Europe. Given the negative consequences traditionally associated with party system volatility, this area of research cries out for new theoretical development.

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Pennsylvania State University, Department of Political Science (emails: charles.crabtree@psu.edu, mgolder@psu.edu). We thank Sarah Birch, Chris Fariss, Sona Nadenichek Golder and Daniel Mallinson for their helpful comments on this article. We also thank Eleanor Powell, Joshua Tucker and Grigore Pop-Eleches for providing data and comments during the replication process. All data and computer code necessary to verify the results in this analysis will be made publicly available at https://charlescrabtree.com and http://mattgolder.com after publication. Stata 12 and R 3.1.0 were the statistical packages used in this study. Data replication sets are available at https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/BJPolS.

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Birch, Sarah. 2001. Electoral System and Party System Stability in Post-Communist Europe. Paper Presented at the 2001 Annual Conference of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, CA, 26–29 August.
Birch, Sarah. 2003. Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in Post-Communist Europe. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Herrnson, Paul S. 1995. Replication, Verification, Secondary Analysis, and Data Collection in Political Science. PS: Political Science and Politics 28:452455.
Kitschelt, Herbert, Manfeldova, Zdenka, Markowski, Radoslaw, and Toka, Gabor. 1999. Post-Communist Party Systems: Competition, Representation, and Inter-Party Cooperation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pacek, Alexander C., Pop-Eleches, Grigore, and Tucker, Joshua A.. 2009. Disenchanted or Discerning: Voter Turnout in Post-Communist Countries. Journal of Politics 71:473491.
Pedersen, Mogens. 1983. Changing Patterns of Electoral Volatility in European Party Systems. In Western European Party Systems: Continuity and Change, edited by Hans Daalder and Peter Mair, 2966. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Pop-Eleches, Grigore. 2010. Throwing Out the Bums: Protest Voting and Unorthodox Parties After Communism. World Politics 62:221260.
Powell, Eleanor Neff, and Tucker, Joshua A.. 2014. Revisiting Electoral Volatility in Post-Communist Countries: New Data, New Results, and New Approaches. British Journal of Political Science 44:123147.
Tucker, Joshua A. 2006. Regional Economic Voting: Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, 1990-1999. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, Ricka, Franto, and Sanfey, Peter eds. 2012. Transition Report 2012: Integration Across Borders. London: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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