Have party families changed the system?

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In the 1960s Lipset and Rokkan established the now well-known argument that party systems have frozen. Even though there are sources that validate this statement, there are more that say party systems have not frozen. Looking into the phenomenon of party system change, this thesis explores a new method of measuring whether party system change has occurred. Based on the existing approaches to party system change and the method of measuring, one concept seems to be under research, that of party families. In the following thesis an attempt has been made to link the concept of party family change to the concept of party system change. Using the Comparative Manifesto Project three different methods where used to examine whether party families have changed and how this is linked to the idea of party system change. By focusing on three traditional party families, it has been possible to examine change over a wider time span. Examining the post-war period (1945-1960) has revealed that specific party families did exist during this period. Comparing the post-war period to the contemporary period (1985-2000) by using three different methods, it is possible to conclude the extent to which party families have changed and in what kind of change they have experienced.
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