Six Waves of the European Social Survey
3. Empirical test of political dealignment in European countries
Even though the alleged partisan dealignment has triggered a burgeoning literature, there are few quantitative and cross-national attempts aimed at verifying the explanatory potential of this conception. This thesis is addressed to contemporary democracies in the context of erosion of traditional political cleavages, growing heterogeneity of party programmes, and with respect to social underpinnings of political systems – to volatility of political preferences of the electorate, and diminishing importance of social class as a basis of party support (Dalton 1984; Poguntke / Webb 2005). The likely effects of these processes could be political destabilisation and lack of governance, and with respect to social structures – deconsolidation, chaos of norms and blurring of social hierarchies.
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