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It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Sartori’s party system typology at least because, as Peter Mair recently pointed out, “there has been very little new thinking on how to classify systems since the seminal work of Sartori” (Mair, forthcoming). The first important party system taxonomy was proposed by Duverger in his Political Parties (1951). Duverger in this classic study identified three types of party systems: the one party system, the two party system and the multi-party system. By the early 1960s Sartori had become quite unhappy with this typology (Sartori, 1982). Sartori thought that both the one-party and the multi-party categories were more complex that Duverger had at first realized. Sartori went on to improve Duverger’s taxonomy. He did so by breaking down the one-party category into three subcategories (one-party system, hegemonic party system and predominant party system) and by breaking down the multiparty system category into two subcategories (moderate pluralism, polarized pluralism).


Political Economy | Political Science

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Political Science

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Singapore Management University

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.