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Political Parties : Old Concepts and New Challenges - Richard Gunther

Political Parties

Old Concepts and New Challenges

Hardcover Published: 1st May 2002
ISBN: 9780198296690
Number Of Pages: 384

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This book, with contributions from leading scholars in the field, presents a critical overview of much of the recent literature on political parties. It systematically assesses the capacity of existing concepts, typologies, and methodological approaches to deal with contemporary parties. It critically analyses the 'decline of parties' literature both from a conceptual perspective and - with regard to antiparty attitudes among citizens - on the basis of empirical analyses of survey data. It systematically re-examines the underpinnings of rational-choice analyses of electoral competition, as well as the misapplication of standard party models as the 'catch-all party.' Several chapters reexamine existing models of parties and party typologies, particularly with regard to the capacity of commonly used concepts to capture the wide variation among parties that exist in old and new democracies today, and with regard to their ability to deal adequately with the new challenges that parties are facing in rapidly changing political, social and technological environments. In particular, two detailed case studies demonstrate how party models are significant not only as frameworks for scholarly research, but also insofar as they can affect party performance. Other chapters also examine in detail how corruption and party patronage have contributed to party decline, as well as the public attitudes towards parties in several countries. In the aggregate, the various contributions to this volume reject the notion that a 'decline of party' has progressed to such an extent as to threaten the survival of parties as the crucial intermediary actors in modern democracies. The contributing authors argue, however, that parties are facing a new set of sometimes demanding challenges. Not only have parties differed significantly in their ability to successfully meet these challenges, but the core concepts, typologies, party chdels and methodological approaches that have guided research in this area over the past 40 years have met with only mixed success in adequately capturing these recent developments and serving as fruitful frameworks for analysis. This book is intended to remedy some of these shortcomings.

Industry Reviews

... the individual papers are well worth reading in their own right and most contain innovative research and interesting approaches to the study of political parties. * Political Studies Review *

Introduction, Jose Ramon Montero and Richard Gunther
Reconceptualizing parties and party competition
Parties: denied, dismissed, or redundant
Still the age of catch-allism? Volksparteien and Parteienstaat in crisis and reequilibration
Electoral and party competition: analytical dimensions and empirical problems
Reexaming party organization and party models
The ascendancy of the party in public office: party organizational change in 20th-century democracies
Beyond the catch-all party: approaches to the study of parties and party organization in contemporary democracies
Party organization and party performance: the case of the French Socialist party
A crisis of institutionalisation: the collapse of the UCD in Spain
Revisiting Party linkages and attitudes toward parties
Antiparty sentiments in Southern Europe
Parties in contemporary democracies: problems and paradoxes
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198296690
ISBN-10: 019829669X
Series: Comparative Politics
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st May 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.2  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.7