Programmatic party cohesion in emerging postcommunist democracies Russia in comparative context


Journal Article

Across postcommunist states, studies of electoral competition reveal variation in the capacity of political parties to compete on the basis of clearly articulated issue-based programs. Notably, the development of programmatic party competition in the Russian Federation is lagging behind other postcommunist states. Over time it is likely that democratic institutions shape the learning process that enable politicians to adjust strategies of party competition, but learning is not likely to occur at the same pace across all countries. The authors explain the observed cross-national variation in party system development as a function of the aspiring political elites' capabilities to solve social choice problems through party formation against the backdrop of past experiences with collective mobilization under and before communist rule. The authors test this model using survey data of middle-level party elites in five countries and find that legacies decisively affect elite strategies in the initial rounds of democratic party competition.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kitschelt, H; Smyth, R

Published Date

  • December 1, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1228 - 1256

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0010-4140

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/001041402237949

Citation Source

  • Scopus