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How party systems Form: The Institutional, Historical and Strategic Foundations of the Post-War ... - page 36 / 42





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outcomes; it forces them to expand their time horizon from continuous inter-electoral coordination strategies to quadrennial electioneering. This change makes electoral outcomes increasingly uncertain and turns them the sort of “judgment days” capable of holding politicians accountable. (Popper 1988) This “institutionalization of uncertainty” also is crucial, as Adam Przeworski points out, for making electoral outcomes more readily acceptable to its losers, a key requisite for democratic consolidation. Przeworski links this consolidating effect to how institutions shape actors’ time horizons. The more uncertain electoral outcomes are for politicians, that is, the less they cab be altered or made more secure with the help of coordination strategies, the longer the actors’ time horizon allows actors “to think about the future rather than being concerned exclusively with present outcomes”. (Przeworski 1991, 19, 36) It also creates a consolation effect for political losers by increasing the probability to they will win the next time around. This consolation effect in turn will make losers more likely to comply with the unfavorable election outcomes. (Alexander 2002, 56-78) It ultimately provides an explanation for the miracle of democracy where “conflicting forces obey the results of voting. People who have guns obey those without them. Incumbents risk their control of governmental office by holding elections. Losers wait for their chance to win office. Conflicts are regulated, processed according to rules, and thus limited. This is not consensus, yet not mayhem either. Just limited conflict; conflict without killing. Ballots are 'paper stones,' as Engels once observed.” (Przeworski 1986, 1)

Party Switching3/12/2007p.

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