Global Advanced Research Journal of History, Political Science and International Relations ISSN:2315-506X
March 2012 Vol. 1(2), pp 042-047
Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals
Postmaterialism, De-Alignment, durverger’s law, and the freezing hypothesis: In defense of the social origins of party institutions
Aurora university, department of social sciences, 347 south Gladstone avenue Aurora, IL 60506-4892.
Accepted 20 March 2012
This article questions whether Lipset and Rokkan’s (Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan, Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspectives, (New York: The Free Press, 1967)) sociological explanation of party systems still holds in light of new developments. After outlining the famous cleavage theory, the essay proceeds by discussing the four cleavages and the party families that emerged from them. Next it considers the freezing hypothesis and compares Lipset and Rokkan’s sociological explanation to Durverger’s Law (Maurice Duverger, "Factors in a Two-Party and Multiparty System," in Party Politics and Pressure Groups (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell)). The article concludes that, while political identification may no longer align with Lipset and Rokkan’s original four cleavages, the cleavage structure itself is still relevant in explaining contemporary party systems today. Finally, the essay offers Dalton’s (Russell J. Dalton, Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies, (London: Chatham House)) theory of de-alignment and Inglehart’s postmaterialism as explanations why.
Keywords: Postmaterialism, De-alignment, durverger’s law, freezing hypothesis, social origins, political parties.