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James Toole, "Government Formation and Party System Stabilization in East Central Europe," Party Politics, 6 (October 2000), 441-461.

First Paragraph:
The two most important ways of understanding the stabilization of new party systems both have important drawbacks. Analysis of electoral volatility, a product of the party system literature that studies change and stabilization in the electoral alignments linking parties to voters, is justly valued for its ease of measurement and its cross-national comparability, but it often overlooks aspects of party system development that are not intimately related to party-voter relations. Analysis of party system consolidation, a product of the literature on regime transition, examines virtually all aspects of party system development but tends to lack clear operational definitions and explicit, measurable standards.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Mair's party system model: closed and open structures of competition
Table 2: East Central Europe: closed and open structures of competition
Table 3: Party system stabilization and party system turnover in east Central Europe
Table 4: Party system stabilization and fractionalization in East Central Europe
Table 5: Party system stabilization and disproportionality in East Central Europe
Table 6: Disproportionality and fractionalization in East Central Europe
Table 7: Party system stabilization and electoral volatility in East Central Europe
Table A1: Composition of Governments in East Central Europe
Table A2: Party system turnover for Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, 1990-8
Table A3: Calculation of PST for Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland

Last Paragraph:
Finally, new party systems can stabilize quickly. On-going volatility in party--voter relations need not delay the stabilization of the patterns of party competition that lie at the heart of party system development. The Hungarian and Czech cases suggest that, within a decade of transition, core patterns of competition among political parties may become nearly as routine as in mature party systems. Even in changing political circumstances, where so many aspects of life remain fluid, party systems can stabilize much earlier than expected.