Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

Paperback | October 1, 2002

EditorPaul Webb, David Farrell, Ian Holliday

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How relevant and vital are political parties in contemporary democracies? Do they fulfill the functions that any stable and effective democracy might expect of them, or are they little more than moribund anachronisms, relics of a past age of political life, now superseded by other mechanismsof linkage between state and society? These are the central questions which this book aims to address through a rigorous comparative analysis of political parties operating in the world's advanced industrial democracies. Drawing on the expertise of an impressive team of internationally knownspecialists, the book engages systematically with the evidence to show that, while a degree of popular cynicism towards them is often chronic, though rarely acute, parties have adapted and survived as organizations, remodelling themselves to the needs of an era in which patterns of linkage andcommunication with social groups have been transformed. This has enabled them to remain central to democratic systems, especially in respect of the political functions of governance, recruitment and, albeit more problematically, interest aggregation. On the other hand, the challenges they face inrespect of interest articulation, communication and participation have pushed parties into more marginal roles within Western political systems. The implications of these findings for democracy depend on the observer's normative and theoretical perspectives. Those who understand democracy primarilyin terms of popular choice and control in public affairs will probably see parties as continuing to play a central role, while those who place greater store by the more demanding criteria of optimizing interests and instilling civic orientations among citizens are far more likely to be fundamentallycritical.

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How relevant and vital are political parties in contemporary democracies? Do they fulfill the functions that any stable and effective democracy might expect of them, or are they little more than moribund anachronisms, relics of a past age of political life, now superseded by other mechanismsof linkage between state and society? These a...

Paul Webb is a Professor of Politics, University of Sussex. David Farrell is a Senior Jean Monnet Lecturer, Department of Government, University of Manchester. Ian Holliday is a Professor of Policy Studies and Head of the Department of Public and Social Administration, City University of Hong Kong.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.89 inPublished:October 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199240566

ISBN - 13:9780199240562

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Table of Contents

1. Paul Webb: Introduction: Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies2. Paul Webb: Political Parties in Britain: Secular Decline or Adaptive Resilience?3. Change and Functionality Luciano Bardi: Italian Parties4. Susan E. Scarrow: Party Decline in the Parties State? The Changing Environment of German Politics5. Andrew Knapp: France: Never a Golden Age6. Kris Deschouwer: The Colour Purple: The End of Predictable Politics in the Low Countries7. Jan Sundberg: The Scandinavian Party Model at the Crossroads8. R. J. Murphy and David M. Farrell: Party Politics in Ireland: Regularizing a Volatile System9. Ian Holliday: Spain: Building a Parties State in a New Democracy10. Simon Hix: Parties at the European Level11. John C. Green: Still Functional After All These Years: Parties in America, 1960-200012. R. Kenneth Carty: Canada's 19th Century Cadre Parties at the Millennium13. Ian McAllister: Political Parties in Australia: Party Stability in a Utilitarian Society14. Jack Vowles: Parties and Society in New Zealand15. Paul Webb: Conclusion: Political Parties and Democratic Control in Advanced Industrial Societies