Political Cleavages: Issues, Parties, and the Consolidation of Democracy

By Alejandro Moreno | Go to book overview

strong issue-oriented cleavages mainly based on left-right materialist orientations. Nonetheless, the postmodern-fundamentalist issue dimension is also a strong source of cleavage, and it even constitutes the main cleavage dimension in some countries. The following chapters provide evidence of the extent to which issue dimensions based on salient issues in post-Communist and Latin American emerging democracies constitute relevant political cleavages.


NOTES
1.
In my early search for a comparative empirical framework of party competition, the variables that define a postmodern-fundamentalist and left-right materialist dimensional space were not adequate for Eastern European and Latin American data. An interpretation of this outcome is that some of the issues that define these dimensions are not salient in Eastern Europe and Latin America. An exception may be Argentina, where the two-dimensional space was relatively well defined.
2.
Neil Nevitte ( 1996) has suggested that since the late 1970s Canadian values have shown a trend that he calls the "decline of deference." His analysis is precisely based on this variable referring to preferences for greater respect for authority.
3.
All societies examined in this chapter have had a democratic regime for at least fifteen years, except for eastern Germany, which I included in this chapter because its issue configuration is similar to western Germany's.
4.
One of the exceptions is the United States--where, nonetheless, I included the independent voters in the analysis together with the Democrats and Republicans.
5.
Much of my early analysis based on ordinary least squares (OLS) regression provided results similar to those presented here. Some differences were notable especially because at first I did not use the issue variables constructed with factor scores but used single variables instead. Also, using logistic regression with dummy variables for each party, and using the same variables from the discriminant analysis as predictors, provide very similar results regarding the question of what variables are the most significant in explaining party support.
6.
The ten-point left-right self-placement scale was collapsed into three categories (1-4, 5-6, 7-10). The line shown in the figure indicates the inclination of the left- right axis according to the average placement of the left, center, and right categories.
7.
For reasons of space, Table 2.2 displays only the two main discriminant functions. The discussion on other relevant cleavage dimensions is taken from Moreno ( 1997).
8.
Knutsen also finds a statistically significant fourth dimension, characterized by a "commodity market" cleavage, where farmers and the urban-rural division play a central role. In my early analysis, the urban-rural variable did not show a strong explanatory or discriminant power and was dropped in order to have a more compact number of variables and more cases to analyze and because discriminant analysis in SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) has only listwise deletion of missing data.
9.
Knutsen, for example, does not report subsample sizes for the parties. Relatively small subsample sizes may affect the discriminant analysis, polarizing small parties

-73-

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Political Cleavages: Issues, Parties, and the Consolidation of Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Acronyms xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Acknowledgments 6
  • Notes 7
  • Chapter One - Democracy, Democratization, and Political Cleavages 9
  • Conclusion 26
  • Notes 26
  • Chapter Two - Political Cleavages in Advanced Industrial Societies 28
  • Conclusion 72
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter Three - Political Cleavages in Post-Communist Societies 76
  • Conclusion 104
  • Notes 104
  • Chapter Four - Political Cleavages in Latin America 106
  • Conclusion 148
  • Notes 148
  • Chapter Five - Conclusion: A Cross-National Comparison of Cleavages 150
  • Conclusion 164
  • Appendix A: Surveys and Question Wording 167
  • Appendix B: A Brief Description of Discriminant Analysis 182
  • References 186
  • Index 193
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