Academic journal article Italian Sociological Review

Political Behavior of Tirana Electorate

Academic journal article Italian Sociological Review

Political Behavior of Tirana Electorate

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The central idea of this study is concern with the crisis of representation in Albania, which stems mainly from the fact that neither of the two main parties fails to build its and electorate ideological identity (substantive) who should represent. Thus, each of the political forces in their discourse time to time use the right and lefts element elements, as a result of internal and external factors.

Neoliberal reform spirit, especially at the first decade after the change of system and governments Euro-Atlantic integration processes in the second decade, have "alienated" citizen, making even more difficult for political parties the articulation and representation of different social grops. In this context, much less representative of special interest political parties become less identified social groups with political parties. On the other hand, much less reach groups to identify the harder it is to represent the needs and demands by political parties. This vicious circle, has created fluidity of party identities and social groups in years, therefore the relationship between them has been inconsistent and unclear.

Despite that a group of scholars belonging constructivist approach, defend the view that "common interest" of a social group does not exist aprior, but it can be constructed by discursive approach, therefore politically, this perspective is criticized and estimated as insufficient to explain the phenomenon, especally in the Albanian context. Representatives of structural - functionalist school who defend the view that if the dynamism of social structure does not create opportunities for the creation of sustainable social identities, as a result of the stage of development, then the parties are obliged to refer to "the demos" as an electoral category and not social groups that characterize it for the pragmatic reason. Precisely, this approach, which sees the problem in the structuring society way and not to political discourse, constitutes the main runway in this study.

This approach, link the different levels of social reality, such as: structural dynamics of social groups, economic reform progress, the recommendations of the international community, the mediatization of politics, lack of elites with a clear ideological structuring and the effects of globalization.

2. Literature Review

Many political scientists argue that dualism left/right is historical, logical and natural. Rene Remond (1967) highlights the permanent presence of these trends in the political life. Electoral sociology findings confirm the conclusions of the historical analysis of Frederic Bon (1943), who made the balance of electoral developments in France and as a result showed the dualistic structure deeply embedded in the voters' behavior.

In this perspective, dualism is considered as part of citizen attitudes. "This is confirmed by the numerous surveys where most of the respondents prefer to be identified politically in view of these criteria."(Seiler 2008:28). Actually, this encourages researchers to agree on according a certain existence to this duality (Meir 2004). However, semantic and historical analyses of dualism right/left do not hide its fundamental ambiguity.

Political science scholars agree with the content and nature of ideological competition. Further, they are of the opinion that some ideological frameworks serve organizing the political discourse. Typically, these orientations are often discussed and summarized in terms of philosophies: left/right or liberal/conservative (Fuchs & Klingemann 1989; Barnes 1997).

For Raymond Boudon (1988) this point needs to be clarified. Citizens might show left or right preferences, but this does not mean that they have a sophisticated conceptual framework or theoretical dogma. For many individuals, left / right positions taken by them are a summary of their positions on political issues of great interest. From the sociological point of view, some of the concepts are rooted during a long socialization process and over time acquire the status of a social fact. …

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