Political parties or party systems?: assessing the ‘myth’ of institutionalization and democracy

Casal Bértoa, Fernando (2016) Political parties or party systems?: assessing the ‘myth’ of institutionalization and democracy. West European Politics . ISSN 1743-9655

[img] PDF - Repository staff only until 18 February 2018. - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (634kB)


No matter the region of the world under study, party (system) institutionalisation has been traditionally considered to be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the survival of democracy. Despite being one of the most quoted statements in the democratisation literature, the few studies looking at the relationship between institutionalisation and democratic endurance have found no evidence of the ‘almost magical’ powers of the former. This article revisits the abovementioned research question by making use of an original dataset covering all European democracies between 1848 and 2014. The main findings are threefold: (1) it is not the institutionalisation of political parties but the institutionalisation of party systems as a whole that has fostered the prospects for democratic survival in Europe; (2) there is a threshold of systemic institutionalisation which, once reached, will avoid democratic collapse; and (3) systemic over-institutionalisation does not seem to be so perilous for the survival of democracy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in West European Politics on 18/08/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01402382.2016.1216921.
Keywords: party system institutionalisation; party institutionalisation; democratic survival; Europe; 1848–2015
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2016.1216921
Depositing User: Casal Bertoa, Fernando
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2016 13:07
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2016 12:52
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/36037

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View