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Economic crises and the nationalisation of politics

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JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Dec 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2017
DatePublished (current) - 10 Oct 2017
Issue number4
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)777-800
Early online date17/03/17
Original languageEnglish


The literature on party system nationalisation has yet to provide a better understanding of the impact of short-term factors upon the nationalisation of politics. This article helps to fill this literature gap by analysing the effect of economic conditions on party system nationalisation. The argument is that economic crises will decrease levels of nationalisation by amplifying territorial variation in preferences for redistribution, limiting political parties’ capacity to coordinate divergent interests across districts and triggering the emergence of new political forces. Data on 47 countries for the 1960–2011 period confirm this hypothesis and show that lower economic growth during the years prior to the election is associated with a decrease in levels of party system nationalisation in the next election. The result is robust to variation in the specification of the econometric model and to the use of different measures of nationalisation. Results also show that federal institutions increase the impact of economic conditions on the nationalisation of politics, whereas any moderating effect of electoral system proportionality on the economy is not found.

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©2017 European Consortium for Political Research. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • economic crises, electoral systems, federalism, party system nationalisation

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