The Economic Cleavage Under Crisis Conditions: Any Party Response to Austerity?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
Carolina Plaza , Political Science, Universidad de Salamanca
Different studies focusing on the cleavage structure of European party systems have concluded that the economic dimension of the electoral competition nowadays is not as relevant as it was, since the new challenges that contemporary societies are facing regarding globalisation are mainly framed in cultural terms (Kriesi et al 2008; 2012). Additionally, the evolution of economic conflict under post-industrial capitalist conditions prevents to think in terms of the traditional the traditional macro-economic division of “more vs less welfare spending”, because the main issues that once articulated the economic conflict are currently out of the hands of national governments. However, there are still some economic issues that national politics must deal with, as those related with social investment, social insurance and redistribution (Beramendi et al 2015; Hausermann 2013). This research is focused on ascertain how party systems have responded to the Great Recession, especially after the implementation of austerity policies: What have occurred in the economic division of the electoral competition since the 2008 Shock? Can be observed any important change in the substantive level of the economic conflict dimension? Has the economic conflict gained salience? Have parties changed their economical stances under economic crisis conditions? To answer these questions, the investigation relies on the trend file 1999-2014 Chapel Hill Experts Survey on party-positioning.