Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences would like to invite you for Thursday seminar with
PETER J. TUNKIS - Visiting Fulbright-Hays Fellow at SOÚ AV ČR, v.v.i., Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, The Ohio State University
who will present his paper
Safety in Numbers: Group Linkages and the Persistence of Party Switching. Preliminary Evidence from the Field
Party switching, or changing one’s political party affiliation, is a surprisingly widespread and persistent phenomenon among elected parliamentarians (MPs) in old and new democracies alike, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. This behavior may signal a lack of accountability and representation to voters, weaken governments, or lead to political instability. Why would MPs risk careers, prestige, and chances of reelection for uncertain payoffs? Contrary to conventional wisdom, I find that this is a group-based phenomenon rather than a purely individual one, and argue that MPs take group-based incentives into account beyond individual incentives. My dissertation tests my arguments using MP biographical and career data, qualitative content analysis of media reports, and interviews with Polish and Czech MPs.