From Platform Declarations to Policy Outcomes

Miki L. Caul and Mark M. Gray

in Parties Without Partisans

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253098
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599026 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

From Platform Declarations to Policy Outcomes

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Examines whether the role of parties in policy‐making has changed substantially since the 1950s. The chapter uses data from the Comparative Manifestos Project and aggregate policy measures to assess long‐term trends in parties’ policy positions, and governing parties’ impacts on policy outcomes for 15 advanced industrial democracies. The chapter first analyses how the parties’ policy profiles have changed over time. Second, it examines whether parties are becoming increasingly flexible in terms of the issues they emphasize, moving from a strategy of selling a consistent package of policies toward marketing an increasingly volatile variety of issues. Third, it analyses changes in the degree of partisan impact on policy outputs, concluding that despite a pattern of ideological convergence, there is less evidence that the policy impact of parties has eroded over time.

Keywords: governing parties; issues; manifestos; party ideology; party platforms; policy outputs; policy profiles; policy‐making; proportional representation

Chapter.  13337 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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