Research project: Left-Right and Transnational Partisanship (Daniele Caramani)

This long-term research project follows the previous ones on nationalization (Caramani, 2004) and Europeanization (Caramani, 2015) by taking the question of territorial vs. functional dimensions of politics to the global level. It should lead to a book on the globalization of politics taking the analysis of nationalization and Europeanization of politics to a broader level. The project aims at assessing the degree of commonality and convergence between world regions in terms of dimensionality and whether territorial differences diminish over time due to the establishment of the functional class left-right cleavage in various world regions. Territoriality and left-right are thus analyzed in a global perspective. The project is based on a number of theoretical approaches dealing with global territoriality from historical comparative sociology to international relations, and a number of territorial structures are analyzed, which include cultural civilizations, value areas, centre-periphery models, Col War alignments, North-South. The project links closely with the literature on “world systems” in the tradition of Wallerstein and other economic historians on the rise of the West vs. other regions and modernization. The project has at its core political conflict, specifically left-right, and therefore a new conceptualization is proposed at a theoretical level including civil, political and social rights (and thus not only limited to economic redistribution). The time frame is historical starting in the 19th century allowing to address the historical trajectories toward liberal democracy, fascism and communism. It covers large democratic units such as Europe, the US, Mexico, India, Turkey, South Africa and Japan, but also includes a supra-national level at voting alignments in supra-national parliaments. Data include electoral results, party manifestos, historical texts, survey data, expert surveys, parliamentary debates and roll-call votes, constitutions, speeches and political writings, which are analyzes through dimensionality analysis, automated content-analysis, qualitative and statistical analysis.


  • Book project on The Globalization of Politics: Territoriality and Cross-Regional Cleavages in Historical World Regions.
  • Talk by Daniele Caramani on “Cross-Territorial Party Politics in Europe: A Historical Perspective” at the “Transnational Partisanship Workshop”, LSE on May 23-24, 2016.
  • Paper by Caramani, Daniele (in preparation). A Global Meaning for Left-Right? The Cross-Regional Variation of an Empty Vessel (research paper).