This book examines political party system change from a party-centric perspective and assesses how, and to what extent, established political parties in western Europe can maintain their dominant positions.
Parties are increasingly competing in a changeable environment and this book assesses the ways in which political parties have tried to adapt to these changes, by undertaking a study of the strategies employed by established parties since 1950. It features analysis of seventeen western European countries, with eight case-studies explored in greater depth, including; France, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The book assesses two groups of ‘strategies’: institutional strategies, by which parties aim for success through control of rules, regulations and laws; and strategies oriented towards the electorate, through which parties seek success by proving themselves responsive to voters. Offering a detailed empirical assessment of the frequency with which these strategies have been employed, this book assesses the impact on established political parties, and argues that parties can shape their own fate by strategic choices.
Party Strategies in Western Europe will be of interest to students and scholars of European politics, Government and party politics.
Table of Contents
1. A Party-centric Approach to Party System Change 2. Electorate-Orientated Strategies 3. Institutional Strategies 4. Selection of Cases and Measurements 5. The use of Electorate-Orientated Strategies 6. The Use of Institutional Strategies 7. Party Strategies in Western Europe: Party Competition and Electoral Outcomes
Gemma Loomes is a teaching fellow in Comparative Politics at the University of Birmingham, UK.