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Even if the non-unitary nature of parties has come back into the party politics agenda, many of its features are still largely understudied. Specifically, an encompassing explanation of individual faction membership and of the role of party fusions in fostering faction membership is still missing. By performing a diachronic analysis, this article proposes a new approach to study the determinants of faction membership, highlighting the fundamental role of ideological, policy- and career-related factors. Moreover, the article uses as an explanatory factor a key element that has hitherto never been taken into account in intra-party analyses: psychological social identity, a variable that strongly conditions party members’ behaviour in situations where parties are merging. The analysis also shows the crucial role of party fusion in shaping individual faction membership determinants, highlighting that the effect of these determinants varies considerably the more time has elapsed since the party’s merger.
A lively debate among students of parliamentary democracy concerns how coalition governments build their policy proposals. Some scholars maintain that government declarations mirror the position of the median party in parliament; others argue that these proposals better agree with the weighted mean of the coalition parties’ electoral promises. This article sheds light on this puzzle by investigating the role played by several political actors in shaping government declarations on two dimensions: the ideological left–right scale and a genuinely policy-based welfare scale. The results reveal that the agenda setters on the two dimensions do not coincide. On the left–right scale, the prime minister’s party plays a leading role. On the welfare scale, government declarations are affected by the party of the median legislator in parliament and by the parties of the labour and social affairs ministers. Furthermore, government declarations on the welfare dimension tend to drift rightwards with adverse economic conditions.
Despite more than two decades of research on semi-presidential regimes, we still know very little about the actual coordination between the president and the prime minister. Through an in-depth analysis of Lithuanian semi-presidentialism, this article underscores the importance of institutional design on intra-executive balance of power. Drawing primarily on interviews with top-level civil servants and office-holders, it argues that in the absence of written rules or other strong norms guiding intra-executive coordination, presidents enjoy more discretion in designing their own modes of operation. Coordination depends on the initiative of the president, with ad hoc practices further weakening the position of the prime minister. While Lithuanian semi-presidentialism has functioned smoothly, the personality-centred politics commonly found in Central and East European countries create favourable conditions for presidential activism.
The article analyses the interplay between agency problems at various stages in the parliamentary chain of delegation and external constraints related to corporatist negotiations in Norwegian agricultural policymaking. The combination of minority government and MPs tending to have more extreme preferences than the voters, and corporatist integration of specialized interests, may lead to an accumulation of agency costs. However, the study shows that we need to specify carefully the conditions under which this will occur. The article is based on official policy documents and a survey of citizens.
In recent literature on post-Soviet electoral revolutions in places where attempts at regime change through popular protest did not succeed, opposition groups are often simply regarded as ‘failed’. And yet, opposition actors exist and participate in the political life of their country. Building on the Belarusian and Azerbaijani cases, we argue that opposition actors are maintained in a ‘ghetto’, often virtual, tightly managed by the ruling authorities who exert monopolistic control over civic activities. Opposition actors adapt to the restricted conditions – accepting a certain level of dependency. They thus develop various tactics to engage with the outside, striving to reduce the ghetto walls. To this end this article proposes a typology of what we call oppositional ‘resistance models’: electoral, in the media, lobbying and through education. The models highlight what makes ‘opposition’ in authoritarian states and are a step towards a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon in this context.
Why do economic crises sometimes lead to democratic breakdown and sometimes not? To answer this question, we bring in a new conditioning factor. We propose that bureaucracies of higher quality – implying more competent, efficient and autonomous employees – to a greater extent shield the masses from impoverishment and unjust distribution of resources. This dampens anti-regime mass mobilization, which decreases elite incentives and opportunities for toppling the democratic regime. Statistical analyses of democracies globally from 1903 to 2010 corroborate that the impact of economic crises on the risk of democratic breakdown is suppressed when democracies have a bureaucracy of higher quality. The results are robust to alternative model specifications, including a battery of ‘good governance’ indicators. The effect of bureaucratic quality is not driven by bureaucracies’ ability to hinder crisis onset or shorten crisis duration but rather their ability to decrease domestic upheavals during crises.
Research on invalid voting has expanded rapidly over the past few years. This review article for the first time examines its principal findings and provides a new theoretical perspective on the origins of invalid votes based on a two-dimensional framework. The main results of 54 studies using both individual-level and aggregate-level data as well as the results of experimental and qualitative studies are analysed. The meta-analysis of all existing aggregate-level studies finds that compulsory voting, quality of democracy, fragmentation and closeness of the electoral race play important roles in explaining invalid voting. On the other hand, the research is accompanied by many theoretical and empirical contradictions that hamper the accumulation of knowledge in this field. We therefore conclude by suggesting the challenges for future research.