This paper examines the influence of party change on party-level legislative turnover. Analyzing a novel dataset tracking 251 parties in eight West European democracies between 1945 and 2015, we assess how transformational party events affect the renewal of parties' parliamentary delegations. Transformational party events refers to party changes resulting from deliberate strategic decisions that redistribute power within parties, change their identity, and/or shift alliances within and between them. We focus in particular on changes in parties' leadership and name, the formation of electoral cartels, mergers and divisions, applying empirical methods suitable for dealing with fractional outcomes and multi-level data to test their impact on turnover rates. Our estimates indicate that leadership change is a key determinant of MP renewal, leading to systematically higher rates of legislative turnover. Party relabeling and divisions affect turnover as well, although their influence is contingent on other characteristics of the parties and their environment.
AbstractBuilding on past research, we implement a hierarchical latent class model to analyze political participation from a comparative perspective. Our methodology allows simultaneously: (i) estimating citizens' propensity to engage in conventional and unconventional modes of participation; (ii) classifying individuals into underlying "types" capturing within- and cross-country variations in participation; and (iii) assessing how this classification varies with micro- and macro-level factors. We apply our model to Latin American survey data. We show that our method outperforms alternative approaches used to study participation and derive typologies of political engagement. Substantively, we find that the distribution of participatory types is similar throughout the continent, and that it correlates strongly with respondents' socio-demographic characteristics and crime victimization.
This case study highlights the advantages and challenges of using hierarchical competing risks models to analyze the determinants of party mortality from a comparative perspective. I review how these models can be used to simultaneously examine the impact of electoral, political, and institutional factors on two distinct but potentially correlated forms of party death, dissolution, and merger, while controlling for other observed and unobserved characteristics of the parties and of the democracies in which these operate. I illustrate the workings of this model by examining a data set covering the complete life cycles of 184 new parties that entered 21 consolidated democracies between 1968 and 2016. A key issue with hierarchical competing risks models is that standard statistical techniques and software packages for survival analysis either impose the assumption that the hazards (probabilities or risks) of both types of death are independent, or only model their dependence at the party or country level (but not both). Overcoming these limitations was the most important technical challenge faced during the project. In addition, over the course of the investigation, the members of the research team had to make several important methodological choices, such as how to select the parties to be included in the analysis, how to operationalize the different types of death, and how to deal with potential collinearity between the explanatory variables. I discuss how these challenges were handled in practice, and draw some lessons for researchers interested in party mortality and survival analysis more generally.
This case study underscores the importance of using ag??periodcohort models to disentangle life cycle, generational, and election-specific effects when examining the determinants of long-term political change. I illustrate how these models can be used to study the impact on turnout of the decline in the competitiveness of British elections over the last 50?years, while controlling for other factors that may mask the relationship of interest. A key issue with ag??periodcohort models is that standard statistical techniques and software packages are unable to handle relatively large data sets such as the one used in this study, with roughly 40,000 observations from 13 U.K. general elections. During the course of the project, I also had to make hard methodological choices to tackle some of the common challenges that arise when working with electoral surveys, such as turnout over-reporting, high proportion of missing values, and the difficulties in operationalizing relevantdependent and independentvariables. A fundamental lesson from this case study is that careful consideration of alternative measurement strategies and estimation methods is crucial for the application of ag??periodcohort models to repeated cross-sectional electoral surveys, as decisions in these areas can radically affect the substantive conclusions drawn from the data. At a more practical level, the study highlights that researchers may not always be able to rely on canned estimation routines to fit their models. Being able to tailor the estimation approach to the data at hand may thus be critical for the projects success.
This paper implements a unified model of individual abstention and vote choice, applying it to analyze policy-based alienation and indifference in Brazil's historical 2002 presidential election. The results indicate that both alienation and indifference have a negative impact on turnout, with indifference contributing slightly more to voter abstention. Also, the determinants of alienation and indifference differ considerably, the former being determined by structural factors such as voters' information and perceived efficacy levels, while the latter was related to short-term aspects such as parties' mobilization efforts. More importantly, the evidence shows that while alienation and indifference are strongly influenced by attitudinal and protest variables, they are also affected by citizens' evaluation of candidates' ideological locations. The main conclusion is that abstention in Brazil's 2002 election had a policy-driven component and that spatial considerations played a substantive role in citizens' electoral behavior, a fact that has been largely overlooked in previous research on the determinants of abstention in Latin America.
Existing scholarship offers few answers to fundamental questions about the mortality of political parties in established party systems. Linking party research to the organization literature, we conceptualize two types of party death, dissolution and merger, reflecting distinct theoretical rationales. They underpin a new framework on party organizational mortality theorizing three sets of factors: those shaping mortality generally and those shaping dissolution or merger death exclusively. We test this framework on a new data set covering the complete life cycles of 184 parties that entered 21 consolidated party systems over the last five decades, resorting to multilevel competing risks models to estimate the impact of party and country characteristics on the hazards of both types of death. Our findings not only show that dissolution and merger death are driven by distinct factors, but also that they represent separate logics not intrinsically related at either the party or systemic level.