Linking Citizens and Parties: How Electoral Systems Matter for Political Representation

Hardcover | June 20, 2010

byLawrence Ezrow

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Linking Citizens and Parties addresses familiar questions about political representation: Are parties responsive to their core supporters or to the public in general? Do parties that adopt centrist policy positions benefit in elections? Does proportional representation encourage partyextremism? These fundamental questions about democracy are paired with the empirical observation of Western European democracies during the last thirty years. The study highlights the pathways (mainstream and niche) through which citizens' political preferences are expressed by their politicalparties. It concludes with a positive evaluation of these democracies as their citizens have access to at least one, and possibly both niche and mainstream pathways.

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Linking Citizens and Parties addresses familiar questions about political representation: Are parties responsive to their core supporters or to the public in general? Do parties that adopt centrist policy positions benefit in elections? Does proportional representation encourage partyextremism? These fundamental questions about democra...

Lawrence Ezrow is a Lecturer in European Politics in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. His research is on comparative political representation, Western European politics, elections, political parties, voting, party strategies, political institutions, and quantitative methodologies. His articles have appeared in ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pagesPublished:June 20, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199572526

ISBN - 13:9780199572526

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Table of Contents

List of tables and figuresPreface and AcknowledgementsPart I: IntroductionCitizen-Party Linkages, Political Institutions, and Types of PartyPart II: Similarities across Democracies2. Are Moderate Parties Rewarded in Multiparty Systems?3. Parties' Policy Programmes and the Dog that Didn't Bark: No Evidence that Proportional Systems Promote Extreme Party PositioningPart III: Effects of Electoral Institutions4. Electoral Rules, the Number of Parties, and Niche Party Success5. Proximity and Votes for Mainstream and Niche Parties6. Mean Voter Representation versus Partisan Constituency Representation: Do Parties Respond to the Mean Voter Position or to their Supporters?Part IV: Conclusion7. The Effects of Electoral InstitutionsAppendixReferencesIndex