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Three roads to institutionalisation: Vote-, Office- and Policy-seeking explanations of party switching in Poland.

McMenamin, Iain and Gwiazda, Anna (2011) Three roads to institutionalisation: Vote-, Office- and Policy-seeking explanations of party switching in Poland. European Journal Of Political Research, 50 (6). pp. 838-866. ISSN 1475-6765

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Party institutionalisation is a central problem in political science. The literature tends to understand it as a syndrome, and therefore has difficulty explaining variations in institutionalisation. We suggest a new approach based on the transaction between a legislative party and its deputies, the failure of which is observable in party switching. We identify three routes to institutionalisation by appealing to the vote-seeking, office-seeking or policy-seeking motivations of deputies. Poland has had a large volume of party switching, along with wide variation in the incentives facing differently-motivated deputies. Our survival analyses of switching in four Polish parliaments find that vote-seeking is the most likely route to institutionalisation for Polish parties. Moreover, we establish a concrete hypothesis for comparative testing: legislative parties can survive as long as their popular support exceeds forty per cent of their share in the previous election.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:party politics; institutionalisation; legislatures; Poland; democracy
Subjects:Social Sciences > International relations
Social Sciences > Public administration
Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Initiatives and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS)
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Publisher:Wiley Blackwell
Official URL:
Copyright Information:© 2011 Wiley-Blackwell. The definitive version is available at
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:16572
Deposited On:10 Oct 2011 11:28 by Iain McMenamin. Last Modified 18 Jun 2012 04:02

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