Socioeconomic Development and Party System Fragmentation Cross-Nationally

Christopher Raymond*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The literature examining the number of parties cross‐nationally has focused extensively on the impact of electoral systems; the study of social cleavages is, by comparison, less well developed. While a sizeable body of research has examined the effects of ethnic and other measures of diversity, other cleavages have received less attention. This article focuses on the impact of socioeconomic development—reflecting class and urban‐rural cleavages—on party system fragmentation. Examining a large cross‐national dataset, the analysis shows that, in line with the expectations of social cleavage theory and independently of other social cleavage variables, socioeconomic development is associated with higher levels of party system fragmentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-758
Number of pages28
JournalPolitics & Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018


  • Class Cleavages
  • Cross-National Studies
  • Electoral Systems
  • Party System Fragmentation
  • Party Systems
  • Political Parties
  • Social Cleavages
  • Socioeconomic Development
  • Urban-Rural Cleavages
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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