From Isolation to Interaction. Evolution of Theories in the Research on Party System Fragmentation Cover Image
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Politologiczne i socjologiczne teorie fragmentacji systemów partyjnych: od izolacji do interakcji
From Isolation to Interaction. Evolution of Theories in the Research on Party System Fragmentation

Author(s): Wojciech Rafałowski
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: party systems; party system fragmentation; political institutions; cleavages; integration of paradigms

Summary/Abstract: Explaining the variety of party systems has traditionally been an object of political science interest. The number of parties in parliament and party system fragmentation are fundamental parameters describing party systems. In the 20th century there was a division in the field: political scientists were studying the institutional determinants of party system fragmentation, whereas sociologists were focusing on social cleavages. Both paradigms were isolated from each other and their representatives had neglected discoveries by scholars representing the alternative approach. Contemporary research takes into account both groups of factors and their interaction. In this paper, the history and accomplishments of both approaches are presented. It is described how this scholarly reflection progressed from qualitative case studies to quantitative research and from isolation to integration of paradigms. The possible routes of development of this subfield of social science are analyzed and goals are formulated which should be accomplished if a complex theory of party systems fragmentation is to effectively emerge.

  • Issue Year: 210/2013
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 53-74
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish