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Shkel, S.N., Shakirova, E.V. Measuring opposition: index analysis of the dynamics of competitive potential of the political opposition

Published in journal "Law and Politics", 2014-8 in rubric "Authority and management", pages 1139-1150.

Resume: The object of the article involves the method for measuring competitive potential of political opposition via index analysis. The provided scale for coding weak and strong points of the opposition takes into consideration both structural possibilities and regime stimulate, providing for distribution of resources between government and opposition. The provided method facilitates understanding of the factors responsible for the growth of opportunities for the opposition actors, as well as determinants preventing it. Growth of the number of authoritarian regimes in the world and the tendencies for the democracy deficit, showing themselves lately, make the problem of calculating the real competitive potential of political opposition in the conditions especially topical, when the electoral results get distorted and they therefore fail to objectively reflect the real support of opposition by the people. The method of studies is index analysis of political process. Formation of the index scale for measuring the competitive potential of political processes was based upon the methodology of index analysis by M.S. Shugart, J. Carey, as developed in the works A. Crowell and O.I. Zaznayev. The author used the experience of index analysis of other precedents within the frameworks of political science. The authors of the article offered the method of operationalizing the term competitive potential of the political opposition as an index scale for encoding the strong points of government and opposition, allowing to measure and calculate the index of competitive potential of the political opposition. As a test, the method of index analysis is used to measure the dynamics of evolution of the political opposition in Russia in 1993-2012.

Keywords: Political opposition, index analysis, Russia, political regime, measurement methods, political elites, counterelites, political actors, electorate, power.

DOI: 10.7256/1811-9018.2014.8.12250

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