Friday, April 15, 2016: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
Aria B (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City)
This panel aims to bring more light to our understanding of how party systems come about and what affects their development. Scholars agree that too many political parties and too much volatility between elections do not contribute to a well-functioning democracy, rather, a stable party system with clearly defined rules of the game and predictable incentive and outcome structure are believed to increase the well-being of a given democracy. A clear incentive structure and predictable political behavior are struggles of all states, but they are especially relevant for new democracies. Thus, it is imperative to our understanding of the political dynamics in such countries, that we know what are the rules under which the party system develops, how do they differ, and what is their effect.
In order to get a better understanding of the functioning of democracy, and especially of party system development, there are two main questions that we seek to explore - what gets party systems to establish as they do and what influences their institutionalization? We are particularly interested in the role that institutions play in shaping the establishment and activity of parties, the electoral competition, and the settling or institutionalization of the system over time. We are interested both in comparative papers, as well as in case studies of specific countries and welcome both qualitative, as well as quantitative work.