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   Course Title    Political Parties and Party Systems
Lecturer    Marek Rybár
Institution    Bratislava Comenius University
Country    Slovakia


Note: It is advised to take the course simultaneously with Comparative politics III (West European Politics).

The course has two distinct aims. The first one is to familiarize students with the cornerstones of the theoretical debate on political parties and party systems. The second is to allow them to consider the applicability of these theories to the cases of newly formed parties in several central and eastern European countries. By applying the theoretical concepts formulated with an eye on long-established western democracies to newly democratized political systems we can distil both the merits and limits of the original theories and approaches.

In the first part we shall discuss the origins of parties, their organizational structure and social functions. The influence of social and institutional determinants on the party system structure (electoral systems, social stratification) are also considered. Parties will be analyzed as organizations, as representatives of social groups and as units pursuing collective interests. The role of the parties as negotiators in coalition bargaining as well as party families will be also discussed.

In the second part we shall look upon several case studies of new parties and party systems in selected east-central European countries (west European cases are dealt with in the course Comparative politics III). We will discuss the origins of parties and factors influencing their institutionalization in Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Baltics.

Assessment:

Students are expected to actively participate in seminar discussions and to submit five position papers (2-3 pages) reflecting on the required readings listed below. At the end of the semester there will be an in-class written exam. Students will have to answer five questions from among ten questions they will know two weeks in advance. During an oral exam they are to present a book review (selection of the title must be consulted with the instructor in advance) and answer two questions that they did not choose at the written exam. Each of the four parts (activity, position papers, written exam, and oral exam) determines 25% of the students‘ final grade.

Required readings:

Week 1

Societal cleavages and the formation of political parties

Lipset, Seymour M. a Stein Rokkan. 1990. Cleavage structure, party systems and voter alignments. In: Petr Mair (ed.). The West european party system. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1990. pp. 91-138.

Bartolini, Stefano a Peter Mair. 1990. Identity, competition and electoral availability: The Stabilization of European electorates 1885-1985. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1990. pp. 212-249.

Week 2

Party as an organization I: models

Duverger, Maurice. 1990. Caucus and branch, cadre parties and mass parties. In: Peter Mair (ed.). The West european party system. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1990. pp. 37-45.

Kirchheimer, Otto. 1990. The Catch-all party. In: Peter Mair (ed.). The West european party system. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1990. pp. 50-60.

Neumann, Sigmund. 1990. The Party of democratic integration. In: Peter Mair (ed.). The West european party system. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1990. pp. 46-49.

Katz, Richard S. a Peter Mair. 1995. Changing models of party organization and party democracy: The Emergence of the cartel party. In: Party Politics, vol. 1, No.1, January 1995, pp. 5-28.

Week 3

Party as an organization II: organization dilemmas and factors of institutionalization

Panebianco, Angelo. 1988. Political parties: Organization and power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1988, pp. 3-20 a 49-68.

Week 4

Party families and political ideologies

Gallagher, Tom – Michael Laver – Peter Mair. 1995. Representative government in modern Europe. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1995, pp. 181-208.

Mény, Yves a Andrew Knapp. 1998. Government and politics in western Europe: Britain, France, Italy, Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 56-86.

Week 5

New party families

Michael Minkenberg. 2001. The Radical Right in Public Office: Agenda-Setting and Policy Effects. In: West European Politics, Vol. 24, No.4, October 2001, pp. 1-21.

William M. Downs. 2001. Pariahs in their Midst: Belgian and Norwegian Parties React to Extremist Threats. In: West European Politics, Vol.24, No. 3, July 2001, pp. 23-42.

Kitschelt, Herbert. 1989. The Logic of party formation: Ecological politics in Belgium and West Germany. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1989. pp. 9-40.

John Burchell. 2001. Evolving or Conforming? Assessing Organizational Reform within European Green Parties. In: West European Politics, Vol. 24, No.3, July 2001, pp. 113-134.

Week 6

Electoral systems and party systems

Sartori, Giovanni. 2001. Srovnávací ústavní inženýrství: Zkoumání struktur, podnetu a výsledku. Praha: Slon. 2001, pp. 38-63. (in English as Comparative Constitutional Engineering)

Sartori, Giovanni. 1990. A Typology of Party Systems. In: Peter Mair (ed.). The West european party system. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1990, pp. 316-349.

Ware, Alan. 1996. Political parties and party systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.1996, pp. 147-175.

Week 7

Parties and government formation

Gallagher, Tom – Michael Laver – Peter Mair. 1995. Representative government in modern Europe. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1995, pp. 301-335.

Laver, Michael a Norman Schofield. 1990. Multiparty government: The Politics of coalition making in Europe. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1990, pp. 89-143.

Week 8

Financing political parties: Beyond financial scandals

Pujas, Véronique a Martin Rhodes. 1999. Party finance and political scandals in Italy, Spain and France. In: West European Politics, zv. 22, No.3 (júl 1999), s. 41-63.

Pierre, Jon – Lars Svasand – Anders Widfeldt. 2000. State subsidies to political parties: Confronting rhetoric with reality, in: West European Politics, vol. 23, No. 3 (July 2000), pp. 1-24.

Week 9

Democratic transition and party development in Eastern Europe

Kitschelt, Herbert, Zdenka Mansfeldova, Radoslaw Markowski a Gábor Tóka. 1999. Post-communist party systems: Competition, representation and inter-party cooperation. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-16.

Lewis, Paul G. 2000. Political parties in post-communist eastern Europe. London. Routledge, pp. 25-93.

Week 10

Political parties in Slovakia

Krause, Kevin D. 2000. Public opinion and party choice in Slovakia and the Czech republic. In: Party Politics, vol. 6, No.1 (January 2000), pp. 23-46.

Malová, Darina a Kevin D. Krause. 2000. Parliamentary party groups in Slovakia. In: Heidar, Knut a Ruud Koole (eds.) Parliamentary party groups in European democracies: Political parties behind closed doors. London and New York: Routledge. 2000, pp. 195-213.

Week 11

Party politics in Hungary

Körösényi, András. 1999. Government and politics in Hungary. Budapest. Central European university press, pp.27-70.

Ágh, Attila. 2001. Early consolidation and performance crisis: The Majoritarian-Consensus democracy debate. In: West European Politics, vol. 24, No.3, (July 2001), pp. 89-112.

Week 12

Political parties in Poland

Markowski, Radoslaw. 2001. Party system institutionalization in new democracies: Poland – a trend-setter with no followers. In Paul G. Lewis (ed.) Party development and democratic change in post-communist Europe: The first decade. London. Frank Cass, pp. 55-77.

Szczerbiak, Aleks. 2001. The Professionalization of party campaigning in post-communist Poland. In Paul G. Lewis (ed.) Party development and democratic change in post-communist Europe: The first decade. London. Frank Cass, pp. 78-92.

Week 13

Party politics in the Baltics

Dancák, Bretislav, Ivo Pospíšil a Adam Rakovský. 1999. Pobaltí v transformaci: Politický vývoj Estonska, Litvy a Lotyšska. (Baltics in Transformation: Political development in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia). Brno. Mezinárodní politologický ústav MU.

Pettai, Vello a Marcus Kreuzer. 1999. Party Politics in the Baltic States: Social Bases and Institutional Context. In East European Politics and Societies, vol. 13, No.1, pp. 148-189.



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