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Measuring Party System Change: A Systems Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Zim Nwokora

    (Deakin University, Australia)

  • Riccardo Pelizzo

    (Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan)

Abstract

The term ‘party system’, explained Giovanni Sartori, refers to the pattern of interactions among major parties. That pattern can be represented as a type and treated as a proper unit of analysis. When ‘party system’ is defined in this way, it becomes clear that the scholarship lacks a direct measure of ‘party system change’. The Sartori approach to party system change is not the only legitimate way to understand this concept, but it does target an undoubtedly important feature of political systems—namely, the stability of major-party interactions. This article develops a new indicator, the index of fluidity, which measures the extent of such stability. Applying the index to Africa, we show there is significant cross-national variation in fluidity and weak correlation between fluidity and (Pedersen) volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Zim Nwokora & Riccardo Pelizzo, 2017. "Measuring Party System Change: A Systems Perspective," Research Africa Network Working Papers 17/048, Research Africa Network (RAN).
  • Handle: RePEc:abh:wpaper:17/048
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Basedau, Matthias & Stroh, Alexander, 2008. "Measuring Party Institutionalization in Developing Countries: A New Research Instrument Applied to 28 African Political Parties," GIGA Working Papers 69, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    2. Tavits, Margit, 2008. "Party Systems in the Making: The Emergence and Success of New Parties in New Democracies," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 113-133, January.
    3. Gordon Smith, 1989. "A System Perspective on Party System Change," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 1(3), pages 349-363, July.
    4. Adcock, Robert & Collier, David, 2001. "Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 529-546, September.
    5. Peter Mair, 1989. "The Problem of Party System Change," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 1(3), pages 251-276, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Nicholas M. Odhiambo, 2019. "Inclusive development in environmental sustainability in sub‐Saharan Africa: Insights from governance mechanisms," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 713-724, July.
    2. Asongu, Simplice A & Odhiambo, Nicholas M, 2019. "Governance,CO2 emissions and inclusive human development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 25253, University of South Africa, Department of Economics.
    3. Simplice A. Asongu & Joseph Nnanna, 2019. "Foreign aid, instability and governance in Africa," Research Africa Network Working Papers 19/022, Research Africa Network (RAN).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    party systems; party system change; Africa; Sartori typology; fluidity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H89 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Other
    • O00 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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