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 book concludes in two parts. First, the chapter addresses the ‘puzzle of equal congruence’. It suggests the similarity occurs because different mechanisms of representation operate across regions. In Western Europe, parties are helped by strong mass organizations but hindered by a more complex issue space. In Eastern Europe, parties are hindered by the lack of mass organizations but are helped by a simpler issue space. Second, the chapter considers the main theoretical implications of the study. First, mass organizations in Western Europe should return to the centre of the study of representation. Second, the weakness of party organizations in Eastern Europe points to the need to consider alternative models of representation. Third, the chapter notes the on-going importance of constituency characteristics as a mechanism in bringing about congruence. Finally, the chapter notes that institutional predictors of congruence are less relevant than is often assumed in the literature.

Keywords: representation; congruence; mass organisation; social class; political institutions; Europe; Western Europe; Eastern Europe

Chapter.  5795 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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