chapter  13
THE LOGICS OF PARTY SYSTEM CHANGE IN SOUTHERN EUROPE
ByJOSÉ MAGONE
Pages 23

At the end of the twentieth century it is amazing that a history of party system change has not yet been written that takes into account the accumulation of knowledge from one political regime to another. Most studies emphasize the aspect of continuity in the process of party system change. This assumption may be relevant for some countries of Western Europe after the Second World War, but it cannot be sustained if we see post-war party system changes in the context of longer diachronical analysis. Here, the studies of the great Norwegian political scientist and sociologist Stein Rokkan come to the fore. He clearly analyzed postwar party systems in a wider historical, long-term analysis. He took into account that party systems and electoral systems were intertwined processes and subject to historical analysis. He dedicated a substantial part of his studies to delineating the progress towards universal suffrage in West European countries. His study of trends, from unequal particular, to equal universal, suffrage makes us aware that today’s competitive party systems emerged from a long history of suffrage extension, which was interrupted in some countries by regime discontinuity (Rokkan 1970:29-40).