The congealing of a new cleavage? The evolution of the demarcation bloc in Europe (1979–2019)

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Emanuele, V., Marino, B. and Angelucci, D. (2020), The congealing of a new cleavage? The evolution of the demarcation bloc in Europe (1979–2019). Italian Political Science Review. doi:

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Over recent years, a new transnational conflict has been deemed to be structuring political conflict in Europe. Several scholars have posited the emergence of a new ‘demarcation’ vs. ‘integration’ cleavage, pitting the ‘losers’ and ‘winners’ of globalization against each other. This new conflict is allegedly structured along economic (free trade and globalization), cultural (immigration and multiculturalism), and institutional [European Union (EU) integration] dimensions. From an empirical viewpoint, it is still a matter of discussion whether this conflict can be interpreted as a new cleavage, which could replace or complement the traditional ones. In this context, the European Parliament (EP) elections of 2019 represent an ideal case for investigating how far this new cleavage has evolved towards structuring political competition in European party systems. In this paper, by relying on an original dataset and an innovative theoretical and empirical framework based on the study of a cleavage’s lifecycle, we test whether a demarcation cleavage is structuring the European political systems. Moreover, we assess the evolution of this cleavage across the 28 EU countries since 1979 and the role it plays within each party system. The paper finds that the demarcation cleavage has emerged in most European countries, mobilizing over time a growing number of voters. In particular, this long-term trend has reached its highest peak in the 2019 EP election. However, although the cleavage has become an important (if not the main) dimension of electoral competition in many countries, it has not reached maturity yet.

Vincenzo Emanuele è professore associato in Scienza Politica presso la LUISS Guido Carli di Roma. Ha conseguito il dottorato di ricerca in Scienza della Politica presso la Scuola Normale Superiore (ex SUM) di Firenze con una tesi sul processo di nazionalizzazione del voto in Europa occidentale e le sue possibili determinanti. La sua tesi ha vinto il Premio 'Enrico Melchionda' conferita alle tesi di dottorato in Scienze Politiche discusse nel triennio 2012-2014 e il Premio 'Celso Ghini' come miglior tesi di dottorato in materia elettorale del biennio 2013-2014. È membro del CISE, di ITANES (Italian National Election Studies) e del Research Network in Political Parties, Party Systems and Elections del CES (Council of European Studies). I suoi interessi di ricerca si concentrano sulle elezioni e i sistemi di partito in prospettiva comparata, con particolare riferimento ai cleavages e ai processi di nazionalizzazione e istituzionalizzazione. Ha pubblicato articoli su European Journal of Political research, Comparative Political Studies, Party Politics, South European Society and Politics, Government and Opposition, Regional and Federal Studies, Journal of Contemporary European Research, oltre che sulle principali riviste scientifiche italiane. La sua prima monografia Cleavages, institutions, and competition. Understanding vote nationalization in Western Europe (1965-2015) è edita da Rowman and Littlefield/ECPR Press (2018), mentre la seconda The deinstitutionalization of Western European party systems è edita da Palgrave Macmillan. Sulle elezioni italiane del 2018, ha curato la Special Issue di Italian Political Science ‘Who’s the winner? An analysis of the 2018 Italian general election’. Clicca qui per accedere sito internet personale. Clicca qui per accedere al profilo su IRIS.
Bruno Marino è assegnista di ricerca presso il Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche alla Luiss Guido Carli. I suoi interessi di ricerca comprendono partiti e sistemi di partito in prospettiva comparata, élite politiche e la personalizzazione della politica. Ha pubblicato articoli su West European Politics, Government and Opposition, Acta Politica, Electoral Studies, European Political Science Review, Regional and Federal Studies, Italian Political Science Review/Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica. La sua monografia, Party Leaders and their Selection Rules in Western Europe, è stata pubblicata da Routledge.
Davide Angelucci is a lecturer at the Department of Political Science of Luiss University, Rome. He has been a visiting student at Royal Holloway University of London and at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa. He is currently a member of the Italian Centre for Electoral Studies (CISE) and part of the editorial board of the journal Italian Political Science (IPS). His research interests include elections and electoral behaviour, party politics, class politics, and public opinion. His work has been published in journals like European Union Politics, West European Politics, South European Society and Politics, Swiss Political Science Review and others.