New Parties in Advanced Democracies: Causes and Barriers to Participation

Authors: Carina S. Bischoff | Published in: working paper series on the legal regulation of political parties, no. 11, October. | Date of publication: 2011


This paper analyses the determinants of new party entry in advanced industrial democracies. Over the past decades established party systems have increasingly been challenged by new parties, but the frequency of new competitors arising varies greatly across elections. Previous studies have, however, provided contradictory answers to the question of what facilitates or bars new party participation. This study suggests that methodological problems lie at the root of the discrepancies and suggests ways to deal with these. Using data on 336 elections in 21 countries, and employing original indicators of new parties as well as costs of entry, this study provides a comprehensive test of the institutional, social and economic factors hypothesized to influence the chances of new party entry.

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