Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Stephen

in The Strain of Representation

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652785
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744907 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics


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This chapter considers the party representation model in light of its first criterion – that parties should present policy choices to voters. The conclusions that emerge from these analyses are generally happy ones for this representational criterion. Voters in both West and East are offered a range of policy alternatives and not just by small and fringe parties. Moreover, parties offer policies that are sensibly rooted in their ideological and social characteristics. Furthermore, the chapter also finds strong and sensible connections between theoretically relevant country characteristics on the range of positions offered by parties. However, the chapter also found some evidence of the potential problems that might occur, in particular, where the number of independents in the electorate was larger, party systems tended to offer more limited policy choices across a wide spectrum of issues.

Keywords: representation; party policies; economic policies; ‘new politics’; European integration; party families; political institutions; social class; partisanship; Europe; Western Europe; Eastern Europe

Chapter.  10183 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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