Since the collapse of the USSR, many scholars have pointed the weakness of the political parties in the states of the former Soviet Union.  Others have pointed to the incentives generated by political structures, particularly the existence of ‘super-presidentialism’, which have also retarded the development of political parties.  This article examines the development of political parties, comparing four cases.  The author addresses in particular the question of whether super-presidentialism explains the variations of the levels in party development, or whether other institutional factors (such as the structure of the electoral system) account for differences observed across the four states.  The four cases have been selected in order to control for variations in electoral system:  Each employed similar mixed electoral systems to govern late twentieth-century parliamentary elections, where a portion of the seats in the lower house was elected via single member districts and the rest elected via a proportional representation list.  The author’s findings tend to support the hypothesis that presidentialism’s effects on democracy and party development are greatly overstated.

The Redaction
CER: I-8.4.D-738