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The new cultural divide and the two-dimensional space in Western Europe


Bornschier, S (2010). The new cultural divide and the two-dimensional space in Western Europe. West European Politics, 33(3):419-444.

Abstract

While the endorsement of universalistic values by the New Left led to a first transformation of political space in Western Europe, the counter-mobilization of the extreme populist right resulted in a second transformation in the 1990s. This article focuses on the discursive innovations and normative foundations that have driven the emergence of a conflict opposing libertarian-universalistic and traditionalist-communitarian values. An analysis using data from the media coverage of election campaigns confirms that the New Left and the populist right represent polar normative ideals in France, Austria, and Switzerland. A similar transformation of political space occurred in the absence of a right-wing populist party in Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands. In these contexts, I hypothesize the value conflict to prove less durable and polarizing in the longer run. The analysis of an election in the mid-2000s confirms that party systems evolve in a path dependent manner in the two contexts.

While the endorsement of universalistic values by the New Left led to a first transformation of political space in Western Europe, the counter-mobilization of the extreme populist right resulted in a second transformation in the 1990s. This article focuses on the discursive innovations and normative foundations that have driven the emergence of a conflict opposing libertarian-universalistic and traditionalist-communitarian values. An analysis using data from the media coverage of election campaigns confirms that the New Left and the populist right represent polar normative ideals in France, Austria, and Switzerland. A similar transformation of political space occurred in the absence of a right-wing populist party in Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands. In these contexts, I hypothesize the value conflict to prove less durable and polarizing in the longer run. The analysis of an election in the mid-2000s confirms that party systems evolve in a path dependent manner in the two contexts.

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24 citations in Web of Science®
32 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:27 Feb 2011 10:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:31
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2382
Additional Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in West European Politics, Volume 33 Issue 3 2010 The Structure of Political Competition in Western Europe . West European Politics is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0140-2382&volume=33&issue=3&spage=419
Publisher DOI:10.1080/01402381003654387
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-41247

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