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Sartori Reconsidered: Toward a New Predominant Party System



Despite the success of his party systems theory, Giovanni Sartori's predominant party system is a type that is consistently avoided by party systems scholars, yet the reasons for this have been unclear. This article exposes the flaws in Sartori's predominant party system, but we also argue that it remains a useful concept and, consequently, that the literature's rejection of predominance and retreat to the cruder dominance notion is unnecessary. Instead, we amend predominance to ensure its coherence within Sartori's typology and consistency with his party systems theory. We show that our amendments improve the value of predominance as a category for empirical analysis of the effects of party systems.