Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Assessing the Causes and Effects of Electoral Volatility: Party System Fragmentation, Time, and Executive Turnover

What effect do political parties and the system in which they function have on the amount of electoral instability generated during election periods? This study confirms that party system fragmentation, disaggregated into twin components of party system size and discontinuity, plays a deterministic role on volatility levels and that conceptual disaggregation improves the fit of this model over alternate models. Additionally, the inclusion of a time-sensitive control variable reveals the significant impact of interelection period length which had not been controlled for in earlier analyses. The results of this analysis do not uphold prior findings of region- or time-specific data with respect to alternative explanations of economic voting, institutional characteristics, or class cleavage structures. Finally, examination of the relationship between electoral volatility and executive turnover reveals that party system size and discontinuity, as well as time, can mitigate the negative effect of electoral volatility on executive policy tenure.