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Old friends and new enemies, parties in changing time and space

Laroze, Denise (2016) Old friends and new enemies, parties in changing time and space. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Political parties are the cornerstone of modern democracies and the decisions they make can have important consequences for citizens' well-being. This dissertation studies two different types of party behaviour. The first is coalition building and how social-identity concerns can help predict which parties form alliances. The second is the decision of potential new parties to enter electoral competition. The effect of social-identity on coalition formation is tested using an experiment on the 'pure effect' of gender, race and political ideology on who is selected as a coalition partner. The findings showed that gender and race did not affect participants' decisions. By contrast, ideology had a strong effect. Substantively, the results provide evidence that a preference for similar coalition partners can help predict which coalitions form, even when there are no policy benefits from this alliance to be gained. Party entry behaviour is analysed through two incentive structures. The first paper measures the impact of public subsidies on new-party presidential candidates in Latin America. The results show that campaign subsidies can increase the relative costs of a campaign and create a barrier for new-party candidate entry. On the other hand, campaign funding for everyday party activities has the opposite effect. This study contributes to the understanding of the cost-benefit incentives for new party entry and the consequences of party finance regulations. The second paper on new parties addresses the dynamic process of party exit and entry into politics. The study argues that the collapse of a political party opens policy space that can lead to the successful entrance of new parties. The results provide robust evidence that the size of the collapsed party has a positive effect on the vote shares for new parties. However, this is moderated by the permissibility of the electoral formula.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: New Political Parties, Coalitions, Social Identity, Laboratory Experiment
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Denise Laroze
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2016 10:52
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016 10:52
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17075

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