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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

Founding Elections

Founding Elections

(p.502) Chapter 50 Founding Elections
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Hans-Dieter Klingemann

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses (1) origin and concept of a ‘founding election’, (2) expectations associated with the consequences of such elections, (3) empirical findings of current research, and (4) the effects of founding elections on democratic consolidation. The concept is found to emphasize two criteria. The process of a founding election should provoke the formation of political parties, and the rules for the election should ensure that all major competitors regard the election as free and fair. The expectations associated with founding elections are mostly related to voter turnout, types of the emerging political parties, the structure of party systems, and possibilities of government formation. Not a great deal of empirical findings are based on quantitative cross-national research. Historically oriented studies dominate. Findings provided by comparative analyses are not easy to generalize because the countries under study and the temporal contexts are too disparate. None of the expectations to be found in the literature hold for all studies. Founding elections are at the heart of the beginning of democratic consolidation. They pave the way for the consolidation of political behaviour, in particular for the formation of ties between parties and the electorate. More empirical research is needed to generate results that are comparable across time and nations.

Keywords:   founding election, political parties, voting behaviour, party systems, democratic consolidation

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