Parties Without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies

Paperback | April 15, 2002

EditorRussell J. DaltonbyMartin P. Wattenberg

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If democracy without political parties is unthinkable, what would happen if the role of political parties if the democratic process is weakened? The ongoing debate about the vitality of political parties is also a debate about the vitality of representative democracy. Leading scholars in thefield of party research assess the evidence for partisan decline or adaptation for the OECD nations in this book. It documents the broadscale erosion of the public's partisan identities in virtually all advanced industrial democracies. Partisan dealignment is diminishing involvement in electoralpolitics, and for those who participate it leads to more volatility in their voting choices, an openness to new political appeals, and less predictablity in their party preferences. Political parties have adapted to partisan dealignment by strengthening their internal organizational structures andpartially isolating themselves from the ebbs and flows of electoral politics. Centralized, professionalized parties with short time horizons have replaced the ideologically-driven mass parties of the past. This study also examines the role of parties within government, and finds that parties haveretained their traditional roles in structuring legislative action and the function of government-further evidence that party organizations are insulating themselves from the changes transforming democratic publics. Parties without Partisans is the most comprehensive cross-national study of partiesin advanced industrial democracies in all of their forms -- in electoral politics, as organizations, and in government. Its findings chart both how representative democracy has been transformed in the later half of the 20th Century, as well as what the new style of democratic politics is likely tolook like in the 21st Century.

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If democracy without political parties is unthinkable, what would happen if the role of political parties if the democratic process is weakened? The ongoing debate about the vitality of political parties is also a debate about the vitality of representative democracy. Leading scholars in thefield of party research assess the evidence...

Russell J. Dalton is in the Department of Political Science, University of California, Irvine,. Martin P. Wattenberg is in the Department of Political Science, University of California, Irvine,.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.67 inPublished:April 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199253099

ISBN - 13:9780199253098

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Table of Contents

IntroductionRussell J. Dalton and Martin P. Wattenberg: Unthinkable Deomocracy: Political Change in Advanced Industrial DemocraciesPart I. Parties in the ElectorateRussell J. Dalton: The Decline of Party IdentificationRussell J. Dalton, Ian McAllister, and Martin P. Wattenberg: The Consequences of Partisan DealignmentMartin P. Wattenberg: The Decline of Party MobilizationPart II. Parties as Political OrganizationsSusan S. Scarrow: Parties without Members? Party Organizations in a Changing Electoral EnvironmentDavid M. Farrell and Paul Webb: Political Parties as Campaign OrganizationsSusan S. Scarrow, Paul Webb, and David M. Farrell: From Social Integration to Electoral Contestination: The Changing Distribution of Power within Political PartiesPart III. Parties in GovernmentShaun Bowler: Parties in Legislature: Two Competing ExplanationsKaare Strom: Parties at the Core of GovernmentMiki L. Caul and Mark M. Gray: From Platform Declarations to Policy Outcomes: Changing Party Profiles and Partisan Influence over PolicyMichael F. Thies: On the Primacy of Party in Government: Why Legislative Parties Can Survive Party Decline in the ElectorateConclusionRussell J. Dalton and Martin P. Wattenberg: Partisan Change and the Democratic Process

Editorial Reviews

`'This collection of studies is a welcome addition to party literature. The editors have brought together a range of experts who provide sophisticated yet accessible accounts of different spheres of party roles - their electoral connections, parties as political organizations, and their partin Government. Parties without Partisans sets a marker against which future studies are likely to be judged.''Professor Smith, Emeritus Professor of Government, London School of Economics and Politics