Parties and Linkages in the Slovak Party System: An Overview

Peter Učeň, Oľga Gyárfášová
2021 Politics in Central Europe  
This study acknowledges Kitschelt's inspiration by understanding party linkage as a mechanism closely pertaining to the relationships of accountability and responsiveness between political parties and voters. Three key linkages – programmatic, charismatic and clientelistic – are scrutinized. The authors identify the "link-age profiles" of relevant political parties in the history of Slovak party competition and use the results of an experts' survey (from the DALP project) as a (limited) test of
more » ... the authors' expert judgement. The study then reflects on the latest developments in political linkages in a period when anti-establishment and anti-system political parties are gaining strength. The paper concludes that clientelism as a linkage played a significantly smaller role than predicted in the 1990s, while charisma – even though we define it differently from some mainstream approaches – manifested a stronger than expected influence on party competition. Also, combinations of charismatic and programmatic linkages seem to be attractive for a number of relevant Slovak parties. Finally, programmatic competition informed Slovak politics for longer and more successfully than Kitschelt's model would suggest.
doi:10.2478/pce-2021-0012 fatcat:jr2lnxr2avfgdm4epaleqprs7m