For a long time, Western Europe was a land of stability for parties and party systems. In the late 1960s, Lipset and Rokkan even qualified these party systems as ‘frozen’, in that the respective party landscape reflected a more or less unchanging environment over the previous 40 years. The last decade has shown a radically different story, with unparalleled changes occurring in different areas.
It is assumed that citizens have diverse opinions, and it is parties that compete to represent them. Nonetheless, a recent line of research has highlighted how the opposite sometimes occurs: on many issues, especially the most complex, citizens often do not have clear opinions and then resort to political parties as heuristics, “cognitive shortcuts” i.e. guides to understand how one should think about a certain issue. An interview with Lorenzo De Sio.
The Director of the Italian Center for Electoral Studies at LUISS, Lorenzo De Sio, presents an analysis of the new strategic guidelines for leaders and parties, in a political landscape of big change