Sociologický časopis
Czech sociological review

VYDÁVÁ SOCIOLOGICKÝ ÚSTAV AV ČR, v.v.i.

← Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 1/2011

Roman Chytilek, Otto Eibl:
Parties in the Policy Space: The Case of the Czech Republic [61]

Chytilek, Roman, Otto Eibl. 2011. „České politické strany v politickém prostoru.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 47 (1): 61-88

Abstract: This article is based on a top-down approach to investigating political interactions between parties and voters and introduces the policy-space perspective into this approach. Its basic premise is as follows: through the application of categories of the proximity/distance of political actors, conflicts latently or manifestly present in a party system can be represented in the policy space. Mapping the policy space traces these relationships and helps to answer the question: What are the positions of political parties on the selected political topics? After providing an overview of existing scholarship on policy-space perspective in Czech politics, the article introduces and discusses a substantive and methodological decision that must be made in this type of research. The empirical part of the article replicates key aspects of Kenneth Benoit’s and Michael Laver’s study mapping policy spaces in modern democracies. The article employs as yet unpublished data from a late 2008 expert panel on the political positions of Czech parliamentary political parties. On the basis of this data the article seeks to answer the following research questions: What is the character of the Czech policy space? What is the relationship between substantive policy dimensions and the synthetic right-left dimension? What additional potential does mapping the policy space offer in comparison with research based on other premises?

Keywords: policy space, distance, conflict dimension, party system, top-down approach.

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