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Does the Iron Curtain Still Exist? The Convergence in Electoral Volatility between Eastern and Western Europe

  • Vincenzo Emanuele (a1), Alessandro Chiaramonte (a2) and Sorina Soare (a3)


The literature on party system change and electoral volatility in post-communist Europe tends to make a clear-cut distinction between Central and Eastern European (CEE) party systems and Western European (WE) ones. The former are unstable and unpredictable and electoral volatility is driven by the continuous emergence of new political parties. Conversely, electoral stability is the rule in the latter, and volatility is associated with electoral shifts among established parties. This conventional wisdom suffers from three potential sources of bias: case selection, time coverage and method. By correcting these biases, this article investigates whether the traditional division between CEE and WE party systems has been levelled as regards volatility. To do so, it presents evidence based on an original data set of electoral volatility and its internal components covering 31 WE and CEE party systems since 1990. It finds that a process of asymmetric convergence in the levels of electoral volatility is taking place between the two regions, with Western Europe approaching Central and Eastern Europe with increasing electoral instability.


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Does the Iron Curtain Still Exist? The Convergence in Electoral Volatility between Eastern and Western Europe

  • Vincenzo Emanuele (a1), Alessandro Chiaramonte (a2) and Sorina Soare (a3)


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