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Party System Institutionalization: The Cases of Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany

Antonino Castaldo EMAIL logo
From the journal World Political Science

Abstract

Institutionalization processes are among the topics most researched by the literature on party systems. This literature is advanced and the debate has led to the construction of effective theoretical models. However, there are still discernible problems of different magnitudes: a) quite often the dynamic dimension related to the institutionalization of a party system and the static dimension, which detects an institutionalized party system (i.e., the outcome of a process of institutionalization) are not sufficiently distinct in the literature; b) static analysis has gathered comparatively much more attention; c) the literature dealing with the dynamic dimension of the problem does not adequately consider the interaction of causal, macro and idiosyncratic factors. This paper aims at dealing with these problems through the elaboration of a set of suggestions constituting a guide for the empirical analysis tested on the Italian and German cases during the 1940s and 1950s. This research shows that a greater attention to the dynamic analysis and to possible interactions among causal factors is able to enhance the understanding of the processes considered. Moreover, this approach provides us with crucial information on how a party system emerges and on how it consolidates itself.


Corresponding author: Antonino Castaldo, Department of Political Sciences, University of Roma Tre, Via Gabriello Chiabrera 199, 00145, Rome, Italy, e-mail:

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Pietro Grilli di Cortona, Leonardo Morlino, Gianfranco Pasquino and Barbara Pisciotta for their availability, comments and bibliographic inputs. Any remaining mistakes are the author’s sole responsibility.

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Published Online: 2014-5-27
Published in Print: 2014-10-1

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