Do Parties Still Represent?: An Analysis of the Representativeness of Political Parties in Western Democracies, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Do Parties Still Represent?

An Analysis of the Representativeness of Political Parties in Western Democracies, 1st Edition

Edited by Knut Heidar, Bram Wauters


186 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780815362944
pub: 2019-04-26
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This book examines the representativeness of party membership and analyses the potential consequences of changing representativeness.

Parties with high membership ratios, as well as those experiencing severe decline, are compared and examined across countries with varying constitutional arrangements and party systems. The book discusses whether changing representative capacities lead to declining political representation of (group) interests, less representative party candidate selection processes and declining legitimacy for the political system. The book bridges two subareas that are usually not in conversation with each other: literature on the decline of party membership and that on group representation (gender, ethnic minorities and other social groups).

This text will be of key interest to students and scholars of party politics, political parties, representation and elections, and more broadly to people interested in European and comparative politics.

Table of Contents

1. Party Membership as Linkage [Knut Heidar and Bram Wauters]

2. Descriptive Representation in Local Party Associations and Its Implications for Representation in Parliament: findings from the Canadian Case [William Cross]

3. Not Exactly a Mirror Image: British Parties’ Members and Voters Compared [Tim Bale, Monica Poletti, and Paul Webb]

4. Do Australian Parties Represent? [Anika Gauja and Jordan McSwiney]

5. Germany: The Politicization of Party Membership [Klaus Detterbeck]

6. Belgium: Parties as Distorting Mirrors. Descriptive and Substantive Representativeness in Flemish Parties under Scrutiny [Robin Devroe, Benjamin de Vet, Nicolas Van de Voorde and Bram Wauters]

7. Something for Everyone? Political Parties, Party Members and Representation in the Netherlands [Josje den Ridder, Ruud Koole and Joop van Holsteyn]

8. Norwegian Parties at Work: Representative Capacities and Political Trust [Knut Heidar]

9. A Skewed Channel of Participation in Denmark – and an Even More Skewed Recruitment Pool [Karina Kosiara-Pedersen]

10. Representativeness of Parties: Old Problems, New Challenges [Knut Heidar and Bram Wauters]

About the Editors

Knut Heidar is Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Bram Wauters is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science of Ghent University, Belgium.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on Political Parties and Party Systems

This new series focuses on major issues affecting political parties in a broad sense. Therefore, we welcome any high-quality suggestions for edited, single or co-authored books dealing with political parties and party systems in Europe and beyond (by which we mean we are also open to comparative projects examining regions outside of Europe). In particular, we would like to invite book proposals that aim to improve our present understanding of political parties and party system through the examination of the following issues:

  • the crisis of political parties and the challenges party organizations face in the contemporary world
  • the increasing internal complexity of party organizations in terms of regulation, funding, membership, etc.
  • the more frequent presence of party system change
  • the development of political parties and party systems in under-researched countries

We are open to a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches. Comparative works will be certainly privileged. We also encourage proposals with a strong policy-impact focus.

For guidance on how to structure your proposal, please visit:

Book proposals should be sent to the series editors:

Ingrid van Biezen [email protected]

Fernando Casal Bértoa [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: