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Working paper

AUTONOMY OF SUBNATIONAL PARTY SYSTEMS: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FEDERATIONS

Turovsky R. F., Луизидис Е. М.
This research is based on theories of federalized party systems, second-order elections and nationalization of party system comparing long-established democratic federations in terms of actual autonomy of their subnational party systems. The study shows that despite obvious prerequisites for subnational autonomy (such as federal institutions, different timing of elections, freedom to establish regional parties and blocs) most federations have created solidly nationalized party systems. Nevertheless, we explore striking differences among the federations in terms of presence and strength of regional parties, while our thorough comparative analysis of electoral turnout and parties support at federal and regional levels of elections reveals that federations are very different and sometimes unique. Also, we see that the theory of second-order elections does not work consistently which in our point of view means the decisive role of regional agenda and emphasizes the presence of national parties consistently inclined to local politics. We conclude that the development of partially autonomous subnational party systems and biases of electoral outcomes in federal and regional elections depend on the historical evolution of political institutions in the state rather than create similar patterns across the federations.