Complexity in the European party space: Exploring dimensionality with experts

Ryan Bakker, Seth Jolly, Jonathan Polk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Does the n-issue space in domestic European polities reduce to one, two, or more dimensions? How do these dimensions relate to each other? More broadly, how does dimensionality vary across countries? We attempt to advance our understanding of political contestation in Europe by mapping the dimensionality of the political space across 24 countries using Chapel Hill expert survey (CHES) data. We test how well different models of the European political space fit the CHES data and find that three-dimensional models best fit the data in all countries. However, there is considerable cross-national variation in how the three dimensions relate to one another. Given this, we present a new measure of dimensional complexity that captures the degree to which these three dimensions are related. In so doing, we improve our understanding of the complexity of the political space in European countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-245
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Union Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • European politics
  • dimensionality
  • expert surveys
  • party politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Demography
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Complexity in the European party space: Exploring dimensionality with experts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this