Small Worlds in Canada and Europe: A Comparison of Regional Party Systems in Québec, Bavaria and Scotland

Eve Hepburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Quebec, Bavaria and Scotland are three regions nested within multi-level states. Each has a pronounced territorial identity and a strong stateless nationalist and regionalist party (SNRP), factors that have contributed to an important territorial cleavage in political life. This contribution explores the dynamics of these regional party systems in a comparative analysis, by revisiting the approach set out by David Elkins and Richard Simeon in their seminal work on Small Worlds. Three indicators of distinctive political ‘small worlds’, which were originally identified by Elkins and Simeon in 1980, are discussed and applied in the context of present-day regional politics in Canada and Europe. These are: (1) the (in)congruence of party systems and competition at the regional and state levels; (2) the adaptation of statewide parties to the regional level; and (3) the conduct of party competition on regional issues. Following an analysis of these issues in each of the cases, the concluding section considers the continuing relevance of the Small Worlds thesis for our understanding of regional party politics in Canada, Europe and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-544
Number of pages18
JournalRegional & Federal Studies
Volume20
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Regional party systems
  • territorial politics
  • stateless nationalist regionalist parties
  • Scotland
  • Quebec
  • Bavaria

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