Research Goals

This project pursues three main objectives.

  • First, to devise a way to operationalize the institutional strength of parliamentary opposition in conceptual and empirical terms.
  • Second, to examine how opposition parties and groups can and do fulfil their functions in a particular political setting, while also accounting for informal rules.
  • Third, to determine sources of opposition parties’ ineffectiveness, e.g., in counteracting illiberal tendencies or in enhancing democratization process.

On the whole, the project strives to identify different forms of opposition across political systems and explain various avenues and ways in which opposition parties respond to challenges and continue to perform their functions of critique, control and alternative. The project’s contribution highlights a variety of responses ranging from conflict maximizing to conflict displacing strategies. The project covers several countries (Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus) and focuses both on genuine and semi-opposition created “from above” and just emulating political pluralism. Such empirical evidence from various political settings sheds light on the features and nature of the respective political system.