Jakub Charvát – Petr Just

Politické zemětřesení 2016? Dynamika stranického systému na Slovensku od roku 2002
(Political Earthquake in 2016? Party System Dynamics in Slovakia since 2002)

Politické vedy, Volume 21, Number 1/2018, pages 24-57



Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
CHARVÁT, J. - JUST, P. 2018. Politické zemětřesení 2016? Dynamika stranického systému na Slovensku od roku 2002. In Politické vedy. [online]. Vol. 21, No. 1, 2018. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 24-57. Available at:


After the relatively turbulent development of the Slovak party politics in the 1990s, as a result of which it was possible to conclude in the middle of the 2000s that the crystallization of the Slovak party system was still not completed, the party system began to gradually settle since the 2002 parliamentary elections. However, this trend was more seriously disturbed by the results of the most recent parliamentary elections held in March 2016, which have been even characterized as a political earthquake. Thus, the overarching goal of this paper is to analyze the dynamics of Slovak party system since 2002 regarding its size and stability, with a special focus on the most recent elections. The paper employs a multi-component conceptualization of party system stability, in terms of effective number of parties, party system continuity, and electoral volatility. The analysis largely confirmed the thesis about the political earthquake in Slovakia in the connection with 2016 parliamentary elections. However, this earthquake is, to a certain extent, linked to the first fiery turmoil of the Slovak political landscape in the 2010 elections. In addition, the 2016 elections have brought a number of discontinuity elements with previous elections and, in a number of respects, with previous developments in the Slovak party system, and thus have the potential to become critical elections, as was the case of the 2002 parliamentary elections.

Key words: Slovakia, party politics, party system change, party system continuity, electoral volatility, effective number of parties

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