Changing Societies, Changing Party Systems

Changing Societies, Changing Party Systems

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Heather Stoll
Cambridge University Press, 11/25/2013
EAN 9781107030497, ISBN10: 1107030498

Hardcover, 300 pages, 23.9 x 16.3 x 2.3 cm
Language: English

How do changes in society that increase the heterogeneity of the citizenry shape democratic party systems? This book seeks to answer this question. It focuses on the key mechanism by which social heterogeneity shapes the number of political parties: new social groups successfully forming new, sectarian parties. Why are some groups successful at this while others fail? Drawing on cross-national statistical analyses and case studies of Sephardi and Russian immigration to Israel and African American enfranchisement in the United States, this book demonstrates that social heterogeneity does matter. However, it makes the case that to understand when and how social heterogeneity matters, factors besides the electoral system – most importantly, the regime type, the strategies played by existing parties, and the size and politicization of new social groups – must be taken into account. It also demonstrates that sectarian parties play an important role in securing descriptive representation for new groups.

1. Introduction
2. Social heterogeneity and the number of parties
a theory
3. Describing social heterogeneity
measures and testable hypotheses
4. Social heterogeneity and party system fragmentation
empirical evidence across space and time
5. Israel
new parties for new groups?
6. Israel
testing hypotheses about sectarian party success
7. The United States
new parties for new groups? Testing hypotheses
8. Conclusion
party system fragmentation and beyond.