Party System Institutionalization: The Case of Chile and Why We Need to Un-Pack the Concept and its Measurement

Luna, Juan Pablo

The analysis of party voter linkages presented in this paper illustrates the risks of conflating party system stability and programmatic structuring in a one-dimensional concept of party system institutionalization, showing that while electoral volatility has remained low over time, programmatic structuring has weakened and party-voter linkages have significantly mutated. Moreover, the data also suggests that social fragmentation and inequality have enabled parties to combine different linkage-types with constituents, thereby minimizing the sustainability trade-offs identified in Kitschelt's original analytical framework. In conclusion, both conceptual innovation and alternative empirical strategies are needed to better describe and explain the heterogeneous and socially segmented linkage strategies that ambitious politicians are crafting in Latin America in pursuit of a winning electoral coalition.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute of Latin American Studies
Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University
Institute of Latin American Studies Working Papers
Published Here
March 29, 2011