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ECPR Summer School in Methods & Techniques 2020

A Model of Party Stabilisation Following Transitions to Democracy

Thomas Mustillo
Indiana University
Thomas Mustillo
Indiana University

In previous work on the nationalization of parties (Mustillo and Mustillo 2012), we offered a general model for identifying three distinctive forms of party nationalization, including static nationalization and two forms of dynamic nationalization. One parameter in that model captures a unique case of dynamic nationalization: the presence of nationalizing or denationalizing. That is, quite apart from the parameter that identifies whether or not a party is statically nationalized, there is another parameter to identify whether or not a party is becoming more or less statically nationalized. Visually, this process is detectable when a plot of a party’s district-level support of time is “fanning in” or “fanning out.” There, we noted the existence of this parameter, but didn’t explore it empirically because it is a special case likely only applicable to new democracies or in party systems undergoing some fundamental shifts in electoral support, as for example following a party system collapse. In this follow-up work, I will delve deeply into this phenomenon by empirically exploring a set of transitional party systems. The multilevel model we propose is well suited for identifying various dimensions of nationalization. Technical details aside, the intuition is quite natural: nationalization (of whatever type) is identifiable via variability in the patterns of electoral support, with highly nationalized parties having little variability and poorly nationalized parties having high variability.
Case Narrative: I propose creating a single case narrative of Ecuador.
Database: I would be happy to share a relational database model (part of a manuscript currently under review at Political Analysis) designed to systematically treat instances of party discontinuity (such as splits, mergers, name changes, and alliances). The purpose of this database is to design a container for basic electoral data such that the computer can do all the computational work of calculating quantities of interest, such as volatility and nationalization. The manuscript section as well as a link to the database is available upon request.
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