Issue evolution and partisan polarization in a European multiparty system: Elite and mass repositioning in Denmark 1968–2011

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.17, No.4, December 2016, p660–682
Publication Date December 2016
ISSN 1465-1165
Content Type


Issue evolution is a well-established theoretical perspective in the analysis of long-term party competition and partisanship in the US. However, this perspective has rarely been used to analyze political elite effects on partisan polarization in European multiparty systems.

Consequently, I apply the issue evolution perspective to polarization in a European multiparty system. I find an emergence of cultural issues in Denmark, where mass level polarization on cultural issues followed elite level polarization. Unlike two-party systems, niche parties drive issue evolution on the elite level, which is then followed by niche partisan polarization and, finally, mainstream party adaption. The findings illustrate the mechanisms of issue evolution in a European-style multiparty system and the role of niche parties.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Countries / Regions ,