This book provides a systematic and comparative account of the rise of ‘new challenger parties’ across Western Europe. It analyses how parties that challenge the conventional party system by addressing issues neglected by existing parties can succeed and fail.
Systematically comparing 229 elections since 1950 across 15 European democracies, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Benelux and Scandinavian countries, this book questions why new challenger parties are more successful in some countries than others, and analyses the conditions that determine their emergence and subsequent success or failure. As one of the first systematic and comparative examinations of new challenger parties, this book looks at both new politics parties and extreme-right parties, and the structures to aid their emergence at the time of an election. Identifying two distinctive stages of party development, the author adopts a ‘double-hurdle’ model involving, first, the chances of emergence, and second, sustained success. This framework, in combination with a wide-range of empirical data, provides for an innovative and insightful analysis of a neglected topic.
New Challenger Parties in Western Europe will be of interest to students and scholars of government, comparative politics and political parties.
"This book then is a very welcome addition to the literature on new, niche, extremist, and challenger parties because it explores a question that was raised three decades or so ago but that was never really answered." - Elisabeth Carter, LSE Review of Books, June 2012
1. Introduction 2. New Challenger Parties I: New Politics Parties 3. New Challenger Parties II: Extreme Right Parties 4. Electoral Performance 5. Institutional Settings 6. Socio-Economic and Political Conditions for New Politics Parties 7. Electoral Fortunes of New Politics Parties 8. Socio-Economic and Political Conditions for Extreme Right Parties 9. Electoral Fortunes of Extreme Right Parties 10. Conclusion