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Article

Современные партийные системы: сценарии эволюции и тенденции развития. DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2015.03.06

Макаренко Б. И., Локшин Г.

The article undertakes a comparative analysis of party systems concentrating on the  evolution of parties and party systems since World Was Two and particularly in the last decades of the 20th century following drastic redefininion of political regimes; it also analyzes modern trends in development of  parties in countries that either underwent democratization or ended up with political regimes in which one or more parties operate. The comparison is based on a set of quantitative criteria evaluating the efficiency of party system. The article distinguishes three scenarios, and analyses for each scenario functions of political parties and trends of its evolution: the first scenario is tentative limitation of political pluralism; the second os “linear” development of multiparty systems; and the third is long-term period of limited competition in party space.

The analysis of transitional party system confirms applicability of our criteria for evaluation of the processes of evolution of political parties. In societies undergoing profound transformation of political systems, parties developed in a matter of decades into full-fledged political institutions and actors. Parties in non-post-Communist European countries are nowadays comparable by substantive characteristics and efficience with “old” democracies. In other parts of the world, such as Latin America, Asia, western part of post-communist space and selected ex-Soviet republics parties did not reach similar levels of stability and efficiency, but also became valid political actors and implement the same set of functions.

In a number of other post-Soviet states we find regimes with one predominant party, intertwined with the presidential power and bureacrtic pyramid. Such states form a continuum from  fully authoritarian regimes to regimes with limited competition. Dominant parties is such regimes perform a set of fuction, which is more narrow in comparison with pluralistic and competitive regimes; it particularly concerns fuctions pertinent to interaction between parties and societies; yet, the role of such parties in political system of its respective countries is quite important.

Many of the “deficiencies” of the political parties  de facto  constitute “growing pains” and do not cancel successes attained by these polities in building viable parties and party systems, or, in a broader sense, in democratization. The analysis drives us to a conclusion that in countries reaching a certain threshold of socio-economic and political development, emergence of political parties and party systems constitutes a general trend: universal in cases of at least minimally successful democratization and frequent even in hybrid and authoritarian regimes.