Élite–Mass Linkages in Europe: Legitimacy Crisis or Party Crisis?

Rudy B. Andeweg

in Elitism, Populism, and European Politics

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198280354
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599422 | DOI:
 Élite–Mass Linkages in Europe: Legitimacy Crisis or Party Crisis?

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A gap between representatives and the represented is an inevitable consequence of the separation of the principal and the agent. Despite a decrease in the trust of political leaders, there is no decline in the democratic system or of interest in politics. An increase in right‐wing extremism is a safety valve alerting the political elites to neglected issues, not a threat to the democratic order. Parties have lost most of their non‐electoral functions, in part to single‐issue movements that provide new structures for elite‐mass linkage.

Keywords: elite‐mass linkage; political parties; political trust; representatives; right‐wing extremism; single‐issue movements

Chapter.  7697 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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