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Party Systems in New Democracies



Purpose: 1. Have a great knowledge about political parties and the party systems they operate in, in both Southern and Eastern Europe. 2. Have reviewed all the main explanations of why political parties and party systems stabilize (or not).

Content: Few institutional developments are more critical to the consolidation of democracy and its healthy functioning than the development of stable political parties and party systems. The course presents socio-cultural, rational choice and institutionalist explanations for the formation and development of political parties and party systems in new “Third Wave” European democracies. Specifically, it analyzes the intra-organizational dynamics of parties, their patterns of competition and cooperation, the logic of coalition building and the way how these phenomena change (or may change) over time. There will be a special emphasis throughout the course on the stabilization of political parties and party systems.

Methods of Instruction

Short lectures, classroom discussion, and student presentations

Study Material

Selection of articles and book chapters (to be announced).


The final grade is based on: Final paper (60%); Weekly short presentations (30%); Class activity and participation (10%).

You can register for an exam or retake through USIS until 10 days before the exam or retake.

Wednesday 3 April, 15.00-17.00 hrs, 5B16
Wednesday 17 April till 29 May, 11.00-13.00 hrs, 5B14 (except 10 April and 15 May no class)
Friday 5 April, 11.00-15.00 hrs, 5437
Friday 19 April till 31 May, 11.00-13.00 hrs, 1A22 (except 10 May closingday, 24 May 11.00-13.00 in 1A22 and 13.00-15.00 in 1A37)

Entrance Requirements

Comparative Analysis of Political Systems