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The evolution of the French political space and party system


Bornschier, S; Lachat, R (2009). The evolution of the French political space and party system. West European Politics, 32(2):360-383.

Abstract

New structural potentials related to the processes of globalisation and European integration have produced far-reaching changes in the structure of opposition in the French party system. Whereas the newly designed institutions of the Fifth Republic progressively brought about a 'bipolar multipartism' in the first two decades of their existence, the rising prominence of new cultural conflicts and of the issue of European integration have led to an increasing disunity of the parties within the left and right, to the emergence of the Front National as a powerful new actor, as well as to a general process of party system fragmentation. On the basis of four electoral campaigns between 1978 and 2002, this article analyses the transformation of the ideological dimensions underlying party competition and the positions of parties within this space, and assesses the implications for the electoral success of parties and for the general make-up of the party system.

Abstract

New structural potentials related to the processes of globalisation and European integration have produced far-reaching changes in the structure of opposition in the French party system. Whereas the newly designed institutions of the Fifth Republic progressively brought about a 'bipolar multipartism' in the first two decades of their existence, the rising prominence of new cultural conflicts and of the issue of European integration have led to an increasing disunity of the parties within the left and right, to the emergence of the Front National as a powerful new actor, as well as to a general process of party system fragmentation. On the basis of four electoral campaigns between 1978 and 2002, this article analyses the transformation of the ideological dimensions underlying party competition and the positions of parties within this space, and assesses the implications for the electoral success of parties and for the general make-up of the party system.

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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:March 2009
Deposited On:24 Dec 2009 10:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:41
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2382
Additional Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in West European Politics, 32(2):360-383. West European Politics is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a909388583
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01402380802670677

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