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Department of Political Science

The Nationalization of Politics (Daniele Caramani)

Stein Rokkan Prize in Comparative Social Science Research

Comparative and long-term study on the macro-historical process of the nationalisation of politics. Using a large wealth of newly collected and unexplored data on single constituencies in 17 West European countries, the analysis reconstructs the territorial structures of electoral participation and support for political parties, as well as their evolution since the mid-nineteenth century from highly territorialised politics of early competitive elections toward nation-wide alignments. It provides a multi-pronged empirical analysis through time, across countries, and between party families. The inclusion of all the most importan social and political cleavages (class, state–church, rural–urban, ethno-linguistic, and religious) allows to assess the nationalising impact of the left–right dimension that emerged from the National and Industrial Revolutions, and the resistance of pre-industrial cultural and centre-periphery factors to national integration. State formation, institutional, and socio-political mobilisation models are combined with actor-centered explanatory factors to account for key evolutionary steps and differences between national types of territorial configurations of the vote.


  • Caramani, D. (2004). The Nationalization of Politics: The Formation of National Electorates and Party Systems in Western Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics), xviii–347 pp. [publication in cloth and paperback].
  • Caramani, D. (2005). The Formation of National Party Systems in Europe: A Comparative-Historical Analysis. Scandinavian Political Studies 28(4): 295–322.
  • Caramani, D. (2005). L’Évolution de la Territorialité des Clivages en Europe: Une Étude Comparative Depuis la Moitié du XIXème Siècle. Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée 12(1): 47–76 (Issue on “Les Clivages en Politique”).
  • Caramani, D. (2005) (forthcoming). Die Entstehung nationaler Parteiensysteme in Europa: eine historisch-vergleichende Analyse, pp. 1–27 in: Schöning, M. and S. Seidendorf (eds.), Reichweiten der Verständigung: Intellektuellen-diskurse zwischen Nation und Europa. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag C. Winter (Beiträge zur neueren Literaturgeschichte).
  • Caramani, D. (2003). The End of Silent Elections: The Birth of Electoral Competition, 1832–1915. Party Politics 9(4): 411–43.
  • Caramani, D. (2002). The Measurement of Territorial Homogeneity: A Test on Comparative Electoral Data since 1832. Florence: EUI Working Papers (RSC 2002/26).
  • Caramani, D. (1996). The Nationalisation of Electoral Politics: Conceptual Reconstruction and Review of the Literature. West European Politics 19(2): 205–24.
  • Caramani, D. (1994). La Nazionalizzazione del Voto. Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica 24(2): 237–85.


  • A panel on the nationalisation of politics in Central and Eastern Europe since 1989 has been organised at the Budapest ECPR general conference to compare it with processes in Western Europe analysed in The Nationalization of Politics (CUP, 2004).