Rethinking Discursive Parameters of Contemporary Political Parties Typology

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-5-57-68
P. Oskolkov,
Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS), 11-3, Mokhovaya Str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation.
A. Tevdoy-Burmuli,
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 23.01.2023. Revised 14.02.2023. Accepted 28.02.2023.

Abstract. The newest trends in the development of political parties and their ideologies have caused the emergence of a set of new concepts, such as catch-all parties, electoral-professional parties, cartel parties, firm parties, and parties in power. These concepts are focused on the functions a party performs, and not on the discursive considerations, so, they do not encompass the entire spectrum. For instance, populist and regionalist parties are hard to localize in the given models. On the other hand, such discursive concepts as “niche” parties or “horseshoe” spectrum, as well as the widespread Hans Eysenck’s “political compass”, suggest their own ways to typologize party phenomena. They complement each other but do not form a coherent matrix integrating all the significant elements of party discourses. Intentionally leaving structural-functionalist classifications aside, the authors propose to synthesize the established discursive typologies with some newly-emerged parameters and to localize party actors along such axes as economic agenda (conventionally, right or left), political agenda (conventionally, right or left), the scope of discourse (from “niche” to “catch-all”) and the salience of identity aspects. The latter should be combined with the indication of the loyalty level: ethnic/regional, national, or civilizational. The scope of discourse is found as a result of thematic analysis of party programs/manifestos and the identification of the presence and quantity of significant thematic blocs: economy, security/internal affairs, foreign affairs, education/culture, values/rights. The final matrix is illustrated in the example of the Belgian party system based on expert scaling. The Belgian case is chosen because the Belgian party system contains the entire ideological spectrum inherent in Western Europe and is relatively stable. While proposing the employment of qualitative methods, such as thematic analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and expert scaling, the authors think that it is possible and desirable to further develop the parameters by applying quantitative methods.

Keywords: political parties, “political compass”, party spectrum, “catch-all” parties, “cartel” parties, “niche” parties, ethnoregionalist parties, populism


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For citation:
Oskolkov P., Tevdoy-Burmuli A. Rethinking Discursive Parameters of Contemporary Political Parties Typology. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 5, pp. 57-68. EDN: ZVNLJB

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