The Crisis of Contemporary U.S. and EU Party Systems: Causes and Characteristics

The Crisis of Contemporary U.S. and EU Party Systems: Causes and Characteristics

Sergeev V.M.,

Director of the Center for Global Problems, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO-University,

elibrary_id: 1447 |

Kazantzev A.A.,

Director of the Analytical Center, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO-University,

elibrary_id: 123521 | ORCID: 0000-0002-4845-1391 | RESEARCHER_ID: H-2728-2016

Petrov K.E.,

researcher, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO-University,

elibrary_id: 251393 |

Medvedeva S.M.,

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, MGIMOUniversity,

elibrary_id: 639897 | ORCID: 0000-0001-6231-0491 | RESEARCHER_ID: AAT-9251-2020

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.02.10

For citation:

Sergeev V.M., Kazantzev A.A., Petrov K.E., Medvedeva S.M. The Crisis of Contemporary U.S. and EU Party Systems: Causes and Characteristics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 2. P. 130-149. (In Russ.).


The article discusses a number of cases relating to the latest trends in the development of the party-political systems in the US and EU countries. Article presents analysis of such U.S. movements as “Occupy Wall Street”, “Tea Party” and M5S and the Alternative for Germany among the European parties. On this basis, the causes of the contemporary crisis of the party-political system are analyzed. Among the reasons of such a crisis the authors include: the presence of the losers from globalization, especially in the lower middle class; increased competition from migrants both in terms of access to jobs, and in obtaining social benefits; the psychological readiness of a number of losers of the middle class to explain the deterioration of their socio-economic situation as a consequence of the global “conspiracy of elites”; the erosion of the traditional structure of industrial society and the consequent degradation of the existing political consensus of the center-right and center-left parties that was an engine of the globalization; the separation of the globalized elite from the middle class of Western countries in the standard of living; virtualization of politics and the emergence of new types of mass communication, low controlled centrally and allowing various alternative forces to easily find contact with a mass audience; tactical errors by mainstream forces and traditional media controlled by them in counter-attempts to demonize new political movements, which intensifies protest moods among the dissatisfied part of the middle class. As a result, a broad antiglobalistic identity emerges in Western politics. Alternative movements mobilize a significant number of supporters, using the image of the enemy: either a migrant or a global capitalist. Alternative movements press on their centrist competitors as a result of а “grip from the inside” (in the U.S.) or as a result of a “challenging outside” (in the EU countries). In the EU countries, this trend has led to partial dismantling of party systems, as well as the distribution of seats in parliament in favor of representatives of new parties. In the U.S., under the influence of the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy movement, the moderate wings within the Republicans and Democrats were weakened, which was one of the important factors that led to the victory of D. Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

globalization; party system; evolution of politico-party systems; EU; U.S.; radical movements; anti-globalization movements; Occupy Wall Street; Tea Party Movement; Five Star Movement; Alternative for Germany.


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Content No. 2, 2018

See also:

Sergeev V.M., Kazantzev A.A., Petrov K.E.,
The Policy of “Mainstream” and Its Alternatives in the Modern Western World: on the Way from the World Economic Crisis to “Impossible Politics?”. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No3

Maksimov M.A.,
The problem of subject of anti-system activity in modern philosophical thought. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No4

Levin I.B.,
Globalizations and Democracy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No2

Pavlova T.V.,
Social Movements as a Factor Transforming Institutional Environment: Theoretical Issues. – Polis. Political Studies. 2008. No5

Maksimov M.A.,
Questions of Strategy and Tactics of Modern Anti-System Movement. – Polis. Political Studies. 2008. No4

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