Publications of Zsolt Enyedi

The role of agency in cleavage formation

Abstract.  Through the analysis of Hungarian politics, this article demonstrates how parties become embedded in the social, cognitive and emotive structures of societies. The role of agency in cleavage formation is addressed, with a special emphasis on the mechanism through which political parties structure their environments. Next to the popularization of conflict perceptions and the consolidation of camp identities, the development of a more elaborate and segmented organizational structure is identified as an integral part of the process of cleavage formation. Such a structure enables parties to forge coalitions among previously separate social groupings and combine group interests into packages large enough to overcome institutional thresholds of power. The findings indicate that parties are potentially able to cross cleavage lines, re-structure relations within the party system and create new associations between party preferences, socio-structural categories and attitudes. Furthermore, parties seem to be able to alter the relationships between psychologically rooted attitudes and social categories. The study also shows, however, that deep-seated socio-cultural divides limit the power of agency even in new democracies.

Structure versus culture again: Corporatism and the ‘new politics’ in 16 Western European countries

Abstract.  Various authors have hypothesized that corporatist institutional arrangements favor the development of ‘new politics’: new social movements, concern for issues such as peace and ecology, postmaterialist orientation and voting for left-libertarian parties. This article analyzes the relationships between corporatism and ‘new politics’ using Siaroff's (1999) corporatism scores for 16 West European countries and data from Inglehart et al.'s (1998) World Value Survey. The results of the analysis show that corporatism is related to higher membership in peace movements and also to belief in the urgency of ecological problems. However, it is unrelated to postmaterialist values, votes for ‘new parties’, approval of the environmentalist and feminist movements, and willingness to contribute financially to environmental protection. The relationships between corporatism and ‘new politics’ is shown to be somewhat mediated by economic factors, while the hypothesis that postmaterialism is a principal factor behind the popularity of the new social movements is not substantiated.

Enyedi Z, Rona D. Governmental and oppositional populism: competition and division of labour. In: Wolinetz S, Zaslove A, editors. Absorbing the Blow: The Impact of Populist Parties on European Party Systems. Colchester: ECPR Press; 2018. p. 251-72.

Institutionalization and De-institutionalization in Post-communist Party Systems

This article is part of the special cluster titled Parties and Democratic Linkage in Post-Communist Europe, guest edited by Lori Thorlakson, and will be published in the August 2018 issue of EEPSIn an article written in 1995 titled “What Is Different about Postcommunist Party Systems?” Peter Mair applied the method that he called “ex adverso extrapolation.” He matched his knowledge of the process of consolidation of party systems in the West with what was known at that time about Eastern European history, society, and the emerging post-communist party politics. Considering factors such as the existence of fluid social structures, the weakness of civil society, or the destabilizing impact of the so-called triple transition, his article predicted long-term instability for the region. In the present article, we evaluate the validity of Mair’s predictions, thereby also contributing to a lively debate in the current literature about the scale and nature of East–West differences and about the trajectories of the two regions. Going beyond the identification of cross-regional similarities and differences, we also differentiate between individual party systems, establish subgroups, and describe changes across time. Using four major dimensions (i.e., party system closure, party-level stability, electoral volatility, and fragmentation), the article finds that Mair’s predictions were largely, though not in every detail, right. Ironically, however, we also find that changes in the West tend to match over time the trajectory of the East.

Party system closure and openness: Conceptualization, operationalization and validation

The degree of closure of the governmental arena is a central aspect of the stabilization of party systems, and yet little systematic effort has been devoted to its operationalization. The article proposes a new index, examines its reliability and validity, and reports the ranking of 60 party systems. By redefining the units of measurement we suggest new indicators that are uniform and transparent in their logic of construction, can be applied both to specific government-changes and to time periods, and are sensitive to the degree of change. The article finds a hierarchy among the components of party system closure, dominated by coalition formula. While new and established democracies can both produced closed patterns, the analysis of inter-war European party systems shows that closed systems are less prone to authoritarian takeover. The article demonstrates the power of inertia: the completely closed configurations stand out as the most durable ones.

Party rules, party resources and the politics of parliamentary democracies: How parties organize in the 21st century

This article introduces the first findings of the Political Party Database Project, a major survey of party organizations in parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies. The project’s first round of data covers 122 parties in 19 countries. In this article, we describe the scope of the database, then investigate what it tells us about contemporary party organization in these countries, focusing on parties’ resources, structures and internal decision-making. We examine organizational patterns by country and party family, and where possible we make temporal comparisons with older data sets. Our analyses suggest a remarkable coexistence of uniformity and diversity. In terms of the major organizational resources on which parties can draw, such as members, staff and finance, the new evidence largely confirms the continuation of trends identified in previous research: that is, declining membership, but enhanced financial resources and more paid staff. We also find remarkable uniformity regarding the core architecture of party organizations. At the same time, however, we find substantial variation between countries and party families in terms of their internal processes, with particular regard to how internally democratic they are, and the forms that this democratization takes.

The Influence of Voting Advice Applications on Preferences, Loyalties and Turnout: An Experimental Study

Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) are increasingly popular, yet little is known about their impact. This article investigates their influence on party choice, party loyalty and electoral participation, relying on a complex experiment conducted before and after the 2010 Hungarian election. Participants were directed to two VAAs, some received advice from one and some from both, while the control group visited none. According to subjective recollections, 7 per cent changed their vote intentions, but according to the panel study the VAAs were unable to direct users to specific parties. Sheer exposure to the advice did not have mobilising or demobilising effects either, but preference-confirming outputs increased party loyalty while preference-disconfirming recommendations decreased it, and double exposure amplified further the impact of the VAAs. Converging advice from two different sources increased the rate of electoral participation, but more by provoking, rather than by persuading, the users.

The discreet charm of political parties

The article reflects on Peter Mair's work in addressing the claims of the decline of party thesis. The cartel party model is discussed, the relationship between parties and the state, the collusion of parties, the quality of representation provided by them, their organizational responses to environmental change, and their patterns of competition. Critical assessment of the theoretical arguments and a review of the relevant empirical evidence indicate that parties possess more autonomy and influence than suggested by the decline of party thesis and its attendant components, such as the dealignment model. Some of the commonly cited symptoms of party decline are corroborated, but the article highlights the adaptive organizational and social strategies of parties. These strategies, together with the success of parties in maintaining an essentially bipolar pattern of competition, contribute to the resilience of party politics.

Sitter N. A magyar pártszerkezet 2010-ban: polarizáltabb, kevésbé plurális. In: Enyedi Z, Szabó A, Tardos R, editors. Új képlet: A 2010-es választások Magyarországon. Budapest: Demokracia Kutatasok Magyar Kozpontja Alapitvany; 2011. p. 43-57.
Enyedi Z, Todosijevic B. Adversarial politics, civic virtues and party identification in Eastern and Western Europe. In: Bartle J, Bellucci P, editors. Political parties and partisanship: Social identities and individual attitudes. Routledge; 2009.

Searching for the Right Organisation: Ideology and Party Structure in East-Central Europe

This article examines four centre–right parties in East-Central Europe in order to assess the impact of ideology on party organization and revisit the thesis of organizational weakness in the region. The data collected indicate that, together with electoral success, inherited resources and national context, ideology does indeed shape the style of organization. Centre–right parties, as opposed to leftist parties, tend to be less bureaucratized, have fewer staff members, a simpler structure, more individualized leadership and in public office tend to have a more elevated role. Parties that have more individualistic ideologies tend to have ‘lighter’ organization and weaker embeddedness, while parties subscribing to a more collectivist and corporatist type of conservatism have developed more complex party organization and rely more heavily on affiliate organizations. Analysis of temporal changes uncovers a degree of organizational vitality that is surprising given that the literature on both centre–right and on post-communist politics points towards organizational weakness.

Authoritarianism without Dominant Ideology: Political Manifestations of Authoritarian Attitudes in Hungary

Since the publication of Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, and Sanford's (1950) classic study, considerable debate has developed concerning the political and ideological correlates of authoritarianism. This paper examines relationships between authoritarianism, on the one hand, and self-identification with ideological labels, attitudes toward political extremists, and party preferences, on the other hand. The survey data have been collected in Hungary between 1994 and 2002. Findings indicate that it is the center-right ideology and political orientation that attracts most authoritarians, yet authoritarian extreme-left also survives. The findings also show that liberal orientation and center-left identification constitute the political counter-pole of authoritarianism. Extreme-right supporters are found to be attracted only to particular aspects of authoritarianism.

Anti-Jewish Prejudice in Contemporary Hungary: A Socio-Psychological Causal Model

Predictions from three general approaches to prejudice—personality, social learning and group-conflict—have been examined on a sample of Hungarian youth and their parents. The sample consisted of 400 randomly selected college students and their parents from two Hungarian cities (total N=800). The questionnaire included, among others, an antisemitism scale, authoritarianism scale, and socio-demographic variables. Socio-psychological causal model was constructed using univariate recursive regression graph methodology. The results indicated that students' antisemitism is directly related only to personality (authoritarianism) and to parents' antisemitism. Students' authoritarianism is related to parents' authoritarianism and family socio-economic status (as indicated by parents' income and education). Parents' antisemitism is related to their own authoritarian tendencies and income, while parents' authoritarianism is primarily related to their educational background. It is concluded that the results primarily support personality approach to prejudice as represented by Adorno et al.' work (1950), and socialization approach. Group-conflict approach received ambiguous support in the same way as predictions from this approach concerning individual differences in prejudice are ambiguous.

Organizing a Subcultural Party in Eastern Europe: The Case of the Hungarian Christian Democrats

The fin de siècle political parties are claimed to have moved far from civil society, especially in the new democracies of Eastern Europe. Through the example of the Hungarian Christian Democratic People's Party the paper analyses a different pattern of development: a party that is deeply embedded in the subcultural network of organizations. Tracing the roots of the Catholic organizational bloc back to the end of the last century, the article establishes the factors that have effected the bloc's coherence and autonomy. Mapping the links between the Catholic-Christian organizations and analysing the party's inner life, the role of the party elite in rebuilding the subculture is assessed. The `subcultural party' is presented as one of the possible party types that might emerge in Eastern Europe.