THE CONCEPT OF CLEAVAGES AND THE ISSUE OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
The article deals with the conceptualisation of the issue of European integration from the perspective of cleavages. First, the author presents 'post-Rokkanian' politics as a metaphor for the current composition of European societies and subsequently more fluid ties between parties and voters in the political space. The effects that lead to the re-conceptualising of the cleavage concept are discussed within this context. In agreement with Bartolini and Mair, cleavages are seen as the combination of a societal division, a value element and an element of political organisation, but more emphasis is put on the active structuration of social and political conflicts by political parties. Second, the author analyses European integration observed in terms of its cleavage producing potential. The main argument is based on a specific feature of 'European' cleavages, which combine both functional and territorial dimensions that reflect social and political structures. Only in cases where different aspects of these dimensions are reinforced do 'European' cleavages emerge.
V. Hlousek, Mezinárodni politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity, Jostova 10, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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