Centre–Periphery Party Competition

Sonia Alonso

in Challenging the State: Devolution and the Battle for Partisan Credibility

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691579
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741234 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Centre–Periphery Party Competition

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Chapter 2 presents a series of hypotheses about how centre–periphery party competition occurs based on a combination of the spatial and saliency models of party behaviour. One of the two main theses of the book is introduced, namely that peripheral and state parties compete strategically for votes by partly assimilating each other’s programmatic agenda. Therefore, the chapter discusses the conditions under which state parties are likely to engage in the defence of pro-periphery policies and the reaction of peripheral parties to the pro-periphery strategies of state parties. Unlike what most authors in the literature assume, it is argued that peripheral parties are not single-issue parties and that they can and do emphasize issues beyond the centre–periphery conflict in order to compete more effectively against their state adversaries.

Keywords: policy space; centre–periphery dimension; spatial competition; issue saliency; issue ownership; electoral strategies; single-issue parties; rational actors; vote-maximization

Chapter.  14010 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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