Book

Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

Edited by Paul Webb, David Farrell and Ian Holliday

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199240562
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600296 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199240566.001.0001

Series: Comparative Politics

Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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This book is one in a series (Comparative Politics) for students and teachers of political science that deals with contemporary issues in comparative government and politics. It examines political parties in contemporary democracies, asking how relevant and vital they are, whether they fulfill the functions that any stable and effective democracy might expect of them, or whether they are little more than moribund anachronisms, relics of a past age of political life, now superseded by other mechanisms of linkage between state and society. The book addresses these questions through a rigorous comparative analysis of political parties operating in the world's advanced industrial democracies. Drawing on the expertise of a team of internationally known specialists, the book engages systematically with the evidence to show that, while a degree of popular cynicism towards them is often chronic, though rarely acute, parties have adapted and survived as organizations, remodelling themselves to the needs of an era in which patterns of linkage and communication with social groups have been transformed. This has enabled them, on the one hand, to remain central to democratic systems, especially in respect of the political functions of governance, recruitment and, albeit more problematically, interest aggregation. On the other hand, the challenges they face in respect of interest articulation, communication, and participation have pushed parties into more marginal roles within Western political systems. The implications of these findings for democracy depend on the observer's normative and theoretical perspectives. Those who understand democracy primarily in terms of popular choice and control in public affairs will probably see parties as continuing to play a central role, while those who place greater store by the more demanding criteria of optimizing interests and instilling civic orientations among citizens are far more likely to be fundamentally critical. After an introductory chapter the book has 13 chapters devoted to case studies of political parties in different countries/regions (Britain, Italy, Germany, France, the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands), Scandinavia (Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden), Ireland, Spain, Europe (parties at the European level), the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; these are followed by a concluding chapter.

Keywords: advanced industrial democracies; Australia; Belgium; Britain; Canada; case studies; contemporary democracies; Denmark; Europe; Finland; France; functions of political parties; Germany; governance; interest aggregation; interest articulation; Ireland; Italy; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; political communication; political participation; political parties; political recruitment; relevance; Spain; Sweden; United States

Book.  488 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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Political Parties in Britain in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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Italian Parties in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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Party Decline in the Parties State? The Changing Environment of German Politics in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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France in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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The Colour Purple in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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The Scandinavian Party Model at the Crossroads in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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Party Politics in Ireland in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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Spain in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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Parties at the European Level in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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