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After (?) the Crisis: Representative Democracy and the Party System in Portugal

Cláudia Toriz Ramos

Four years after Portugal signed the 'troika' agreement (Spring, 2011) but only one year after that agreementcame to its term, what are the visible consequences of 'the crisis' on the Portuguese party system and what aretherefore the predictable scenarios for the forthcoming legislative elections (Autumn, 2015)? Did the Portugueserepresentative democracy, shaped in the aftermath of the 1974's revolution and consolidated, it can be argued, inthe context of European integration, undergo major changes or only minor adjustments? Are the standpoints ofextant parties changing accordingly? Are the emerging new parties truly novel and are their programmessustainable, in the long term? Furthermore, are the changes happening in Portugal in line with changeshappening in other Eurozone countries, notably those severely fustigated by the recent crisis, and thereforegiving arguments to interpretations based on the idea of 'Europeanisation' impacts upon the party system? Thepaper evolves on possible answers to the questions above, thus attempting to assess some medium and longterm impacts of the crisis upon representative democracy with a focus on the Portuguese case.

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