The basic structural cleavages of post-communist society should, according to Kitschelt , be aligned along two separate axes: the left-right axis and that of libertarianism-authoritarianism. The party systems in central and eastern Europe were expected to structure themselves along axes ranging from authoritarians and opponents of the market at one end and liberals and supporters of the market at the other. The distribution of parties along these axes would be dependent on the level of industrialisation. Where economic development was already advanced, as in the Czech Republic, many political parties would be concentrated at the market-liberal end of the scale. As far as the political space defined by political parties is concerned, analyses show that in the case of the Czech Republic these assumptions do in fact apply. This paper raises a question of whether the political space defined by political orientations, values and attitudes of potential voters is also arranged along the two main axes: left-right and libertarianism-authoritarianism. The results show that in the Czech Republic both axes do exist and organise the political behaviour of voters. It turns out, however, that the left-right axis, which has been gradually taking its traditional socio-economic content, is clearly dominant and thus represents the main structural cleavage of the Czech political spectrum. The libertarianism-authoritarianism axis, though its existence cannot be questioned, is much weaker than the left-right one. The paper also deals with the difference between declared and values-based left-right political orientations. Analyses show that there is a significant difference between the two distributions: while in terms of declared political orientations the Czech voters are more towards the right-wing end of the political spectrum, in their deeper feelings and beliefs about politically important socio-economic issues they are more towards the left.
Vlachová, Klára, Petr Matějů
Krystalizace politických postojů a politického spektra v České republice
Vlachová, Klára, Petr Matějů. 1998. „Krystalizace politických postojů a politického spektra v České republice.“ Sociologický časopis 34 (2): 145-170. ISSN 0038-0288.