Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.
Tavits. 2005. The development of stable party support: Electoral dynamics in post-communist Europe. AJPS.
Like Ferree (2005), Tavits studies 'volatility' (Y). Tavits's purpose is not so much to test her own theory as to pit three approaches against one another. The three approaches:
Tavits lacks Ferree's (2005) conceptual clarity. She doesn't seem to know what sort of cleavage structure will reduce volatility. Based on her measurement, she seems to think that increasing ethnic heterogeneity will increase volatility, though it's not clear why. She also seems to think that a close urban-rural split will lead to less volatility than a bigger split. (This seems backwards; if the groups are of equal size, then you would expect more contestation, since both groups can hope to win by mobilizing.)
Compare this with Ferree, who argued that if societal cleavages produce one group that can form a winning coalition on its own, then there will be stability; if there are zero or more than one, there will be volatility. Ferree looked at only one cleavage structure: African ethnicity. I'm not sure how to map her argument onto a setting with multiple cleavages (ethnic vs Russian, rural vs urban, labor vs newly rich, etc), but I don't think Tavits has come close to doing a good job.
In her regression, Tavits claims that the cleavage variables aren't significant. First, she probably should have squared the ethnic heterogeneity variable, at the very least (in light of Ferree's argument). More significantly, she needs some in-depth analysis: How many potential winning coalitions are there in each country? Is there an anti-Russian majority? Is there an (orthogonal) rural coalition? That's two cleavages. What she really needs to do is see whether each country's cleavages overlap (producing one winning coalition) or not.
Her study includes several post-communist states, including Russia (see Figure 1). But Russia is a major outlier when it comes to ethnic heterogeneity--and probably on other variables too, given how much larger it is than the other countries (and how much more of an international player it is).
Research on similar subjects