To cite the article:
The article, published on European Journal of Political Research, can be accessed here.
Despite the huge amount of studies on cleavages, scholars have never elaborated a dynamic model to conceptualize and measure the stages of electoral development of the class cleavage and, specifically, the stage corresponding to its full electoral structuring. To fill this gap, by combining some key electoral properties of the class cleavage, I build a model that returns, for each country in each election, the current stage of electoral development of the class cleavage. I test this model in 20 Western European countries from the late 19th century to 2020. Results show that an electorally structured class cleavage has characterized most of Western Europe’s electoral history. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not merely a product of socio-structural factors that have been experiencing an irreversible decline. Conversely, its demise or resilience is a matter of the national political context, as it mostly depends upon specific party system characteristics.