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Coalition Governments and Development of the Party System in Slovakia


Marcel Martinkovič

This publication focuses on the characterization of the Slovak party system and its analysis from the perspective of cleavages and emerging government groups. The monograph also includes a description of the individual types of emerging government coalitions and their politological analysis on the basis of the RILE index (right-left positioning). The said index is used to specify the programmatic differences of the emerging coalition governments and the impact of the development of the party system in Slovakia on their nature in the period from 1990 to 2012. The work is focused on the development trends of the Slovak party system on the background of programmatic heterogeneity of the individual coalition groups and the overall development of the variable tensions in the party system. The categorization of the government groups is based on the positional and programmatic orientation of the parties, which was published in the framework of the international database CMP (Comparative Manifestos Project). The Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB) database processes, inter alia, the data relating to the political programs of the parties within the framework of their comprehensive ideological orientation. The Center for Social Research in Berlin thus contains relevant internationally acceptable comparisons of the party systems and their development. The aim of this publication is to characterize the format and type of the party system in Slovakia, its consolidation and the resulting operational problems between the election system and party system. The aim is also to extend the analysis of the Slovak party system to the specification of positional values and programmatic orientation of the parties in Slovakia based on the internationally accepted database and the RILE criteria. The publication also contains the tables with data on the proximity of variable tensions in the party system after each parliamentary elections and the relevant quantification on the RILE scale. The RILE scale will help us assess the programmatic heterogeneity of the government coalitions also in view of the political discourse on this issue. The work will also verify the hypothesis that the programmatic convergence of the parties in the left-right spectrum creates space for the emergence and establishment of extremist and antisystemic parties in the parliamentary establishment.

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Some Remarks on the Importance of Research into Electoral and Party Systems


The aim of this study is to analyze the development of the party system in Slovakia from the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic to the regular parliamentary elections on March 5, 2016. The reason for limiting this research to the above time segment is the fact that our goal was to provide an analysis of the party system in Slovakia and its development with the use of data on political programs of the respective parties, which were published within the framework of the RILE index (Right–left position), an international database of the right-to-left leaning of political parties.1 This information, which will be used to define the orientation of the programs and leanings of the political parties to the right or to the left in the Slovak party system, can be found in the database published by Social Science Research Center Berlin.2 The analysis of the theses verbalized in the programmatic documents of the political parties ranges from the first free elections after the change of the regime in the former Czechoslovakia (Slovak National Council-SNR) in 1990 to the parliamentary elections in 2016. Our research focus is mainly on the positional and programmatic development of the parties in the right-left political continuum, characterization of the developmental stages of the party system, and analysis of the programmatic homogeneity or heterogeneity of the coalition governments. We will use the following hypothesis in our study: Reduction of programmatic (ideological) differences of the parliamentary parties (on the RILE scale) and their positioning in...

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