DTA

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Tesi etd-09272019-085320

Type of thesis
Perfezionamento
Author
SESSA, MARIA GIOVANNA
E-mail address
mgnsessa@gmail.com
URN
etd-09272019-085320
Title
Cleavage Politics Are Alright: The Electoral Endurance Of Dominant Centre-Right Mainstream Parties In Western Europe (2000s-2010s)
Scientific disciplinary sector
SPS/04
Course
SCIENZE POLITICHE - Joint PhD in Political Science, European Politics and International Relations
Committee
relatore Prof. CHIARAMONTE, ALESSANDRO
Membro Prof. SEGATTI, PAOLO
Membro Dott. EMANUELE, VINCENZO
Keywords
  • centre-right
  • cleavages
  • electoral behaviour
  • mainstream parties
  • Western Europe
Exam session start date
;
Availability
parziale
Abstract
The dissertation investigates the electoral endurance of dominant centre-right mainstream parties (DCRMPs) in eleven West European countries in the last two decades. The first chapter sets the theoretical framework, focusing on recent political changes: from the decline of the mass party to post-cleavage politics and the emergence of challenger parties. In particular, the political arena is described as tripolar as a result of the new transnational integration-demarcation cleavage. <br>The second chapter develops a minimal definition of centre-right mainstream parties, based on party families that are also dominant in their reference area for the period considered, in order to select the case studies. The next three chapters are empirical, the first two investigate the electorate of DCRMPs and the final one compares the previous findings to parties, using their manifestos and electoral data.<br>Firstly, the ongoing salience of cleavage theory as a predictor of voting behaviour is tested and the impact of the crisis assessed, including old and new cleavages. Secondly, voters of DCRMPs are positioned ideologically along a cultural and economic scale, as well as a scale that measures their level of institutionalism. The economic crisis is used as a watershed that accelerated ideological realignment in the tripolar order. <br>Thirdly, the linkage between voters and parties is explored from the perspective of issue positional congruence to assess the electoral endurance of DCRMPs. Moreover, the study investigates the direction of causality according to which issues are diffused from voters to parties. <br>The conclusions recap learning outcomes, contributions as well as possible shortcomings of the dissertation and draw suggestions for further research. Overall, an image of stability and continuity emerges concerning the endurance of DCRMPs as explained by cleavage voting.
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