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Stasiology and Electoral Systems

Adrian Gorun

It is obvious today that the democratic political regime cannot be considered reality without taking into account political parties; it is as obvious as the phenomenon of partidocracy, expressed through the quasi-total domination of parties in politics. Such judgements prompted the title of the book Stasiology and Electoral Systems. The book itself revives the term stasiology, introduced by M. Duverger in 1951, which defines the science of political parties but has not been used very much over the last decades. Its approach is explanatory and perspective alike, emphasizing the myriad of correlations surrounding the emergence, functions, types and systems of parties, on the one hand, and the electoral systems used to elect parliaments, styles of representation and executive formation on the other.


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Chapter I: Political Parties


9 Chapter I Political Parties 1.1 General description In 1951, M. Duverger introduced the term “Stasiologie” (stasiology) in his study Les partis politiques, in order to denominate the structure of politics – the science of political parties. Conceived as an institution, the party “is a field of social existence”1, a period in which “politics develops along established trajectories”2 and provides the framework for confrontations between ideologies, principles, personalities. “The modern political pattern – fortunately or unfortunately, as Dumitru Lepdatu notes – is imbued or over-imbued with partidism. It seems that the majority of political life cannot be conceived outside parties and their role as society mentors”.3 The subject matter of policy setting in the Modern Age and late Modern Age through the expansion of the party as a concept engenders two types of influential consequences on the political system and political regime. On the one hand, the party is “the compulsory vehicle of democracy”4, with democ- racy not being able to be conceived as reality, as a political system including a desirable system of values apart from some political institutions that are neces- sary to achieve a democratic government. On the other hand, if the democratic political regime requires the existence of political parties, it is as true that an existential need has led to a domination of political parties on social and political aspects, talking more and more – as the aforementioned author notes – about “partidocracy”, thus “of a quasi-total domi- nation of politics by parties”, the political regime...

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