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Post-Communist Politics: On the Divergence (and/or Convergence) of East and West

  • Fernando Casal Bértoa

Adopting Ionescu's qualitative approach to political science, and building on Sartori's definition of party system, this article examines the degree to which European (both East and West) party systems have developed since the collapse of communism in 1990 in all three major areas of partisan competition: parliamentary, governmental and electoral. In this context, this article constitutes, paraphrasing Sartori (1969), an attempt to go ‘from political sociology to the sociology of politics and back’. The main conclusion is that, although two decades have passed, East European party politics continues to be generally characterized by instability and unpredictability at all levels.

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Fernando Casal Bértoa is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Leiden. Contact email:

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Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
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