Founding the Field: Lipset and Rokkan's Three-Step Template (1967)
Cleavages, Critical Junctures, and Legacies: Explaining Party Systems in Western Europe
The temporal relationship between cleavages and critical junctures in Lipset and Rokkan (1967) requires comment. Their table in this slide presents a basic interpretation of cleavages as conflicts that lead to a critical juncture (p. 47). However, at another point (p. 14, see also 19) these authors state that “cleavages are direct products” of critical junctures. In fact, these two views are not necessarily contradictory. Rather, they show that Lipset and Rokkan (pp. 25-26) held an interactive view of the relationship between cleavages and critical junctures. Initially, cleavages can lead to the critical juncture. The critical juncture can, in turn, intensify the cleavage. Subsequently the cleavage is crucial in giving shape to the institutions that emerge – whether they be party systems or other kinds of institutional structures.