ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Democratization and Party System Nationalization

Carolina de Miguel
University of Toronto
Carolina de Miguel
University of Toronto
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper explores the development of nationalized party systems in new democracies. Caramani’s seminal work on the formation of national electorates and national party systems in Western Europe establishes a link between the creation of an inclusive and democratic polity and citizenry, and the development of nationalized party systems. Caramani argues that the extension of the franchise and the rise of political party competition led to the expansion of parties across the territory, and this expansion put an end to the fragmented, locally-oriented and clientelistic type of politics that dominated 19th century European politics. To what extent does this parallel process of democratization and nationalization apply to newly democratized states? Does Caramani’s theory imply that younger democracies ought to have less nationalized party systems? And if this is the case, can clientelism and electoral volatility in new democracies be attributed to a lack of party system nationalization? To address these questions I have created an original dataset of electoral results for a large sample of new and old democracies (324 elections in 67 countries between 1970 and 2008). The cases of new democracies come from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. This electoral data is disaggregated by district, which allows me to measure the extent of party system nationalization across countries and time. The first part of my paper uses this data to explore whether old and new democracies have different levels of party system nationalization, and whether the ``age of democracy” is an important determinant of nationalization. The second part of the paper focuses exclusively on variation within new democracies. Are there differences in how their party systems are territorially structured? And what might explain these differences? Finally, I explore whether new democracies with more nationalized party systems have less electoral volatility and less clientelistic practices than new democracies with more fragmented/territorialized party systems.