Ideological cleavages beyond the nation-state

15th September 2021 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

The European Governance and Politics Programme kicks off its 2021-22 Seminar Series with a research presentation by Siyana Timcheva from the University of Zurich.


Territorial divisions allegedly structure the international realm leaving no space for ideological divisions to materialize. Notwithstanding, more than fifty transnational political groups (TPGs) spanning the political spectrum have formed within thirteen international parliaments questioning the taken-for-granted irrelevance of ideology beyond the nation-state. Previously unexplored in comparative perspective, this paper investigates TPGs’ puzzling existence and the voting behavior of their members. Regarding their emergence, I argue that homogeneity across the member states of the international parliament fosters the creation of transnational political groups. Results from regression analysis on time series cross-sectional data lend support to the theory. In a second step, I explore whether ideological voting complements the institution building of TPGs by analyzing original roll-call vote data from two international parliaments. Using ideal point estimation models, I show that ideological voting along a left-right dimension takes place under homogenous membership, whilst membership heterogeneity invokes non-ideological division lines. With the rise of international parliaments, it becomes relevant to understand how they organize as well as to map the dimensions of competition within these institutions.

Speaker: Dr Siyana Timcheva (University of Zurich)
Chair: Prof. Daniele Caramani (European Governance and Politics Programme – EUI)