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Party Competition over the Centre-Periphery Cleavage. A Comparative Analysis of the Spanish Regions

Reyes Pascual, Guillermo (2020) Party Competition over the Centre-Periphery Cleavage. A Comparative Analysis of the Spanish Regions. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:81152)


This investigation is an examination of party competition over the centre-periphery cleavage. The focus is placed on which factors are expected to have a deep effect on the way parties compete when framing the relations between centres and peripheries. The literature has explored different key elements that are able to strongly influence party behaviour along this cleavage, such as for example, party type, ideology, identity, or language. This thesis is centred on other factors that have been overlooked by the same different studies. These are: distance, fragmentation, and polycentricity. The main purpose is to observe the ways in which parties adapt to them in the different regions in which they compete. This research problem is approached via the research question: what factors shape party competition on the centre-periphery cleavage? To answer this research question, the research method used is the sub-national comparative method. This method is applied by using a sequential mix method approach, with a quantitative followed by a qualitative analysis. The purpose of this is obtain at the same time a complete and in-depth understanding of the phenomenon. Employing a case study research strategy, Spain is examined based on the politically salient territorial tensions between its centre and peripheries. In order to observe how the centre-periphery cleavage unfolds, the main sources of information chosen are the political manifestos articulated by parties to compete in regional elections. Addressing the regional level allows to comprehend with more detail how this territorially based cleavage is formulated. From the above three factors, the main findings point in the direction of characterising distance as the element that influence the most the way in which parties compete along the centre-periphery cleavage. The further away a region is from the centre, the more parties territorialise their appeals to the voters. This is followed by fragmentation, which has unexpected and promising results. Polycentricity has to be further analysed in future research agendas, but the results preliminary flag the importance of its different degrees of impact. Finally, these factors are best understood in a qualitative manner in contrast to the literature that also examines Spain, normally based on quantitative data.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Dardanelli, Paolo
Uncontrolled keywords: Centre-periphery cleavage, political parties, party competition in Spain, mixed methods
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 16:10 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2022 18:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Reyes Pascual, Guillermo.

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