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itself, there have been occasional identifications of parties within. the "conservative" category as "rightist," "extreme right," and "ultra-conservative." The only major exception to the publication's policy of classifying major parties in left-right terms occurs with the treatment accorded parties in Latin America before 1962, when the State Department categories were "Communist," "Ruling Party or Member of Governing Coalition," and "Opposition Party." Beginning in 1963, however, the Latin American parties were classified in common with the rest of the world, providing belated but still useful data for retroactive classification of those parties which continued their existence through 1963.

BV514 uses the State Department's classifications of parties as an overall summary rating of parties on the left-right continuum according to the "gestalt" of presumed country experts. If our issue orientation variables do not correlate with their ratings, then the validity of our underlying assumption of unidimensionality of our specific coding procedures are in serious question.

Operational Definition. After the parties had been coded on as many as possible of our thirteen issues, they were given codes corresponding to the State Department classification. The codes are as follows:


Conservative (and associated references)




Non-Communist Left



Coding Results. The State Department reported classifications for about two-thirds of the parties in our study, with a larger number classified for the second half than the first (see Tables 6.16a and 6.16b). The distributions are relatively even across the categories, with the modal category being "Conservative." Because coding of this variable was an objective rather than subjective process, no AC codes accompanied the scores for BV514. Comments on the relationship of BV514 to the previous thirteen variables will be withheld until after the following discussion of BV515, which is the Soviet experts' rating.

TABLE 6.16a: Mid 1950s: BV5.14 State Department Left-Right Rating

TABLE 6.16b: Early 1960s: BV5.14 State Department Left-Right Rating

Basic Variable 5.15: Soviet Expert Left-Right Rating

Those who might be suspicious of values or biases operating to affect the judgments of country experts in the U.S. Department of State might welcome the antidote offered by expert ratings from the Soviet Union. Politicheskie parti zarubezhnykh stran (Political Parties of Foreign Countries, 1967) is a publication of the Soviet Union that reviews the origins, support, and programs of contemporary parties across the world. Done in reference-book style like the World Strength of Communist Party Organizations, this source devotes approximately a page to each party covered. While it does not conveniently classify parties into a fourfold typology a la State Department, it does employ a limited and familiar vocabulary in describing its parties. These descriptions underlie our second set of expert ratings of parties along a left-right continuum.

Operational Definition. A simple three-point scale was constructed for coding parties according to key terms in the party descriptions:


Right. Parties described as supported by upper bourgeoisie, church leaders, landowners, reactionaries, capitalists, antidemocratic elements, and anticommunists.


Center. Parties characterized as supported by the petty bourgeoisie.


Left. Parties supported by workers or revolutionary, socialist, or progressive forces; parties described as Communist, Marxist-Leninist, or Socialist.

Coding Results. Tables 6.17a and 6.17b disclose that the Soviet source commented on more parties--we were able to code more than 75 percent of our parties according to their comments--than the State Department classified in its publication. Comparisons between

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