Working Papers

The V-Dem Party Institutionalization Index: A New Global Indicator (1900-2018) – with Fernando Bizzarro and Allen Hicken

under review

Because levels of party institutionalization may affect the availability of good data, existing datasets have limited reliability and coverage. To overcome these problems, we introduce the V-Dem Party Institutionalization Index, the first global country-level index on the issue. It covers – as of May 2017 – 173 countries for 117 years (1900-2016). Its geographical coverage, timespan, and conceptual reach are larger than any existing alternative. We offer an additive index that measures the scope and depth of party institutionalization in a country every year. Scope is measured by the proportion of parties that reach a threshold of minimal institutionalization, while the linkages party establish with the masses and the elites define the depth. Exploring a set of well-known cases, we show that: the index has extensive face validity, is consistent across regime types, and is comparable to other established indicators of institutionalization

Download here

Putting on the Civilian`s Uniform: Understanding Authoritarian Legacies in Civilian-military Relations

under review

Authoritarian regimes pass on certain legacies to subsequent democracies. Specifically, the institutionalization of authoritarian incumbent parties shapes the strategies of former military officers who seek political office, whom I call legacy officers. When authoritarian incumbent parties are more cohesive and autonomous, these former officers struggle to advance within the party. This leads them to leave the party and form their own. When incumbent parties have weaker mobilization capacity, this opens space within the party system for new parties formed by legacy officers. Party system fragmentation potentially erodes institutional checks on leaders, while also increasing the number of retired officers in government. When the incumbent party is institutionalized, the costs of competing against it are higher for legacy officers, which makes winning political office for legacy officers more difficult. I illustrate this with the cases of Indonesia and Paraguay, which democratized following military-backed authoritarian rule, but whose incumbent party’s institutionalization varied.

Download here

Authoritarian Legacies and Democratic Party Building – with Allen Hicken

under review

Previous work on authoritarian regimes posits that regimes bequeath a variety of legacies to their democratic successors. This paper investigates the extent to which antecedent conditions of authoritarianism, specifically choices over how to structure the regime, building ruling parties, and allowing (circumscribed) multi-party competition, shapes the degree of party institutionalization after democratization. Using data on party and antecedent authoritarian regime characteristics, we find that the extent to which political parties are institutionalized during authoritarian eras shapes the degree of party institutionalization post-democratization. We also find that ruling authoritarian successor parties have a detrimental effect on party development post-democratization while reactive successor parties have a positive effect on party development. We demonstrate how the institutionalization of democratic political parties, a key factor concerning the stability and consolidation of democracy, is dependent on aspects of a country’s prior authoritarian experience and the way former authoritarian elites participate in party politics following democratization.

Download here

Survival Through Strength: How Strong Party Organizations Help Authoritarian Regimes Survive

under review

Why do some authoritarian regimes with parties outlive those with similar institutions? The institutional turn in comparative authoritarianism has provided various explanations on how institutions help authoritarian regimes endure. Previous models show that party regimes survive longer than military or personalized regimes, but institutional strength has been asserted rather than tested. This paper argues that strong parties are endowed with tools which induce elite cohesion, link mass and civil society to the party, and maintain local political control. To test this theory, I develop a new measure of authoritarian party strength which uses data on the permanency of the national and local party organization, control over candidate selection, local control of political office, and strength of societal linkages. With this index I show that authoritarian regimes with stronger parties are more likely to stave off regime failure than regimes with weaker parties independent of regime type.

Download here

Why Populism? How Parties Shape the Electoral Fortunes of Populists

Much of the literature on populism restricts itself to specific regional contexts. Due to this approach, theories of populism have difficulty explaining cross-regional similarities or differences (such as the prevalence of exclusive populist parties in Europe but inclusive parties in Latin America). Using cross-regional data and exploratory case studies from multiple regions, we provide evidence that the prevalence of populism in a given party system is a function of both party institutionalization and electoral institutions. The combination of these factors we term institutional hostility. In laying out our theory we identify three ways in which populist parties enter party syste

Download here

Datasets, Definitions, and Coding Decisions: Assessing the Effect of Electoral Rules

Because levels of party institutionalization may affect the availability of good data, existing datasets have limited reliability and coverage. To overcome these problems, we introduce the V-Dem Party Institutionalization Index, the first global country-level index on the issue. It covers – as of May 2017 – 173 countries for 117 years (1900-2016). Its geographical coverage, timespan, and conceptual reach are larger than any existing alternative. We offer an additive index that measures the scope and depth of party institutionalization in a country every year. Scope is measured by the proportion of parties that reach a threshold of minimal institutionalization, while the linkages party establish with the masses and the elites define the depth. Exploring a set of well-known cases, we show that: the index has extensive face validity, is consistent across regime types, and is comparable to other established indicators of institutionalization

Download here