For many years the 'party family' concept has been utilised by scholars for the purpose of classifying political parties across both countries and time. Like many other concepts in political science, the 'party family" idea is widely used, yet has suffered from a certain level of ambiguity. In this study, we try to clarify and re-emphasise the importance of the 'party family' concept. We do so by offering an integrative approach for the classification of 'party families'. This approach brings together two different theoretical schools (the ideological and the sociological approaches) for classifying 'party families', and also combines various methodologies (qualitative content analysis, ecological analysis and survey-based quantitative analysis) as essential tools for defining 'party families'. The deeply polarised party system in Israel, and especially the expanding extreme right-wing 'party family' in the country, serve as our case study. The decision to focus only on one political system is meant to illustrate the importance of the 'party family' concept, not only for its common use as a tool in the comparative classification of parties across countries and time but also for the study of single-party systems which are characterised by multi-partism or polarised pluralism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science