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Alexander C. Tan. "Emerging Party Systems: An Introduction," Party Politics, 11 (November, 2005), 651-653.

First Paragraph:
Lipset and Rokkan's seminal work suggests that European party systems emerged as a reflection of the cleavage structures in society. Despite general acceptance of the importance of sociological factors for the development of party systems, new scholarship is beginning to uncover other factors beyond the conventional focus on social divisions and electoral rules (Chhibber and Kollman, 2004). Far from being fixed and static, party systems are dynamic and responsive to changes in their operating environments. But what factors contribute to the emergence of new national party systems? Do existing cleavages and institutions matter to the formation of political party systems? How do parties emerge in new party systems? Together, the studies reported in this special issue seek to provide answers to these questions and stimulate further research. The articles reflect the variety of research that has recently been done on the topic. From cross-regional work to country studies, across quantitative and qualitative approaches, the common theme is the contribution made to explaining how parties emerge and what factors affect the development of national party systems.

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Next to Last Paragraph:
Rather than call into question the extant literature, the contributions to this issue of Party Politics provide complementary and additional factors for us to consider in understanding the development of party systems. We can draw two broad conclusions from the articles gathered here about how party systems emerge and consolidate. One is that social cleavages continue to provide important bases for the establishment of parties and party systems. The other is confirmation that institutions which constitute 'the rules of the game' play a critical role. To be reflected in party systems, social divisions require the fertile soil provided by these institutional settings. In understanding how these factors interact with one another, we gain a clearer picture of how party systems emerge.