Primary elections for choosing party leaders and candidates are now becoming commonplace in Europe, Asia and America but questions as to how much they hinder a party’s organizational strength and cohesion or affect electoral performance have largely been ignored outside of the USA. Party Primaries in Comparative Perspective gives a much-needed conceptualization to this topic, describing the function and nature of primary elections and providing a comparative analytical framework to the impact of primaries on the internal and external functioning of political parties. Elaborating on the analytical tools developed to study the US experience this framework engages with primary elections in Europe and Asia offering a theoretical, comparative and empirical account of the emergence of party primaries and an invaluable guide to internal electoral processes and their impact.
’This book offers useful observations about why many parties in parliamentary democracies have been adopting or expanding their use of primaries, and about why and how this change may matter. Several chapters helpfully explore differences between primaries for selecting legislative candidates and those for selecting party leaders.’ Susan Scarrow, University of Houston, USA ’This book represents a valuable attempt to think through the concept of the primary election, and to analyse the empirical reasons for, and the consequences of, its adoption by political parties. Given the spread of primaries to parties beyond the USA specifically and presidential systems more generally, this book is a timely and very useful addition to the comparative literature on party politics.’ Paul Webb, University of Sussex, UK