Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
That the number of parties in plurality systems often exceeds two-party predictions suggests that institutional arguments have trouble explaining party systems that deviate from Duverger’s Law. To explain this, I refer to organizational ecology theory, arguing that the effects of cleavages are nonlinear, producing multiparty systems when cleavages are present (but not dominant over other cleavages) and two-party systems with either few cleavages or cleavages that are so dominant as to prevent the emergence of other cleavages. Applying this argument to party systems in Western Europe prior to the adoption of proportional representation, the results show that fragmentation was greatest in countries where class cleavages were present—but not dominant—and smaller in countries where class cleavages were either dominant or non-existent.
P.S: The seminar will be held in English.