IB 2019/26 How Trade Unions Explain the Development of Two-Party Systems in the Caribbean but not the Pacific

Author/s (editor/s):

Matthew Bishop, Jack Corbett, Wouter Veenendaal

Publication year:

2019

Publication type:

In Brief

This In Brief explains how trade unions and their impact on party organisation are key to explaining how the Caribbean has two-party systems, but the Pacific does not. The absence of party system institutionalisation in the independent Pacific has puzzled scholars and frustrated reformers for decades. The Caribbean experience highlights that investing in trade unions, or civil society organisations more generally, may well be the best way to facilitate party system institutionalisation in the Pacific. However, it also offers a cautionary tale for would-be reformers who assume that stronger parties will curb the hyper-personalisation of politics.

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