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SPP 449

Author: Seán Hanley
Description: This paper maps the emergence of pensioners’ and retirees’ parties in both established Western democracies and in the new post-communist democracies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It considers potential reasons for their emergence and, in some cases, their relative success, by considering both the ‘demand’ for such groupings from socio-economic and demographic change and their ‘supply’ by national opportunity structures. It carries out a preliminary comparison of the performances of ‘grey’ parties using Qualitative Comparative Analysis. It suggests that pensioners’ parties can perform relatively well where ‘permissive’ electoral systems are combined with a higher proportion of pensioners, higher spending on pensions or a political environment unfavourable to the rise of new parties.

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