Czech Journal of Political Science
- Published 31.10.2017
- Volume 2017
- ISSN PRINT 1211-3247
- ISSN ONLINE 1805-9503
Comenius University in Bratislava
The nature of Euroscepticism in Slovakia has changed notably since 2014. Objections to the European Commission’s refugee quotas that first occurred in 2015 have far more traction with voters than earlier Eurosceptic arguments, and less emphasis is now placed on the positive role of EU funds. The Visegrad Four states have collaborated closely in their responses to the refugee crisis, but the Slovak case study is particularly revealing because opposition to immigrants is led by an allegedly social democratic government that supports EU membership. It is questionable whether its securitisation of the refugee crisis and the portrayal of Muslims as terrorists is the result of Islamophobia or indicative of a general hostility to immigration that could be construed as representing a problematic form of Euroscepticism. These attitudes stem less from the rise of far-right and overtly Eurosceptic parties and more from the lack of a political left. The fact that left-wing value orientations are weak can be demonstrated by surveys of voter and party views in Slovakia. Revisiting the idea that the main axes of party competition differ in Central and Eastern Europe and in Western Europe, post-communist states may have the potential to disrupt the pact between the mainstream right and left which underpins the entire European integration project.
Slovakia; European Union; political parties; Euroscepticism.
Masaryk University, Brno
The goal of this study is to examine the behaviour of electoral stakeholders that has influenced the quality of parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic since the 1998 elections. The text attempts to answer these questions: ‘What kinds of strategies do political actors use in electoral processes that decrease the quality of elections?’ ‘Do these tactics vary over time?’ ‘Are they efficient?’ ‘Who are the actors?’ The Czech Republic, as a newly established democracy, features comparably very high electoral integrity, while neighbouring countries experience (from time to time) electoral problems. This work aims to describe the behaviour of electoral stakeholders in order to understand whether they behave in a manner which maintains a high level of electoral integrity. The framework for analysis is constructed on the background of Andreas Schedler’s work (2002; 2013) with respect to influencing the level of institutional rules or the game within those rules. The analysis consists of different kinds of data sources. Among these, election observation mission reports, parties’ strategic documents (party manifestos), secondary analyses (providing the explanation of behaviour), and news (offering information about behaviour on a daily basis) are most important. The results will provide a description of primary electoral stakeholder behaviour, which then allows us to better understand how they affect electoral integrity.
Electoral integrity; elites; stakeholder; strategy; Czech Republic; parliament.
Between Milieu and Vacuum. Organizational, Programmatic, and Electoral Strategies of the Former Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) ReexaminedSeongcheol Kim
WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Berlin
This paper proposes an updated approach to explaining two outcomes unforeseen by the existing comparative literature on post-communist successor parties: 1) the electoral stabilization (and even growth) and 2) the divergent developments of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS; later DIE LINKE) in Germany and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM). The paper proceeds by integrating a critical reexamination of earlier studies’ organizational and programmatic explanations of electoral success with an analysis of the party-system level of government-opposition signaling and positioning vis-à-vis other parties, which can be expected to take on heightened importance in ‘third-generation elections.’ It is argued that both parties’ successes were tied to a strategic orientation toward going beyond their confinement in a delimited electoral ‘milieu’ and occupying a wider electoral ‘vacuum’ to the left of their Social Democratic competitors, albeit with early programmatic modernization and delayed organizational centralization in the PDS as opposed to a near-total continuity of programmatic non-reform and decentralized organization in the KSČM. The findings suggest that earlier studies specifically overlook the impact of subsequent (‘third-generation’) iterations of party competition on successor-party success as well as the mediation of organizational and programmatic factors by the party-system level.
Czech Republic; electoral politics; Germany; party system; post-communist successor parties.
Charles University, Prague
The paper deals with the ideological position of a newly formed business-firm party called ANO in the contemporary political environment of the Czech Republic. Although the advent of the party was truly rapid and ANO is a fairly unique formation, it is possible to employ some conventional analytical tools to reveal the party’s ideological position. Firstly, I show that ANO is a vote-seeking party and it is therefore possible to analyse it in accordance with a Downsian spatial modelling. Next, I describe a roll call analysis method that is able to objectively identify the party’s ideological position based on legislators’ parliamentary votes. After I form several hypotheses, a data set consisting of 8,559 roll calls of 215 members of the Chamber of Deputies is depicted. Finally, the results show that ANO is located in the ideological centre, closer to social democrats rather than to right-wing parties. Besides this, ANO covers a smaller ideological space compared to traditional political parties. Finally, the results do not anticipate a potential split of ANO in the near future since the party’s legislators have acted cohesively in the parliament so far.
ANO; Andrej Babiš; Chamber of Deputies; ideology; roll call analysis; spatial modelling.