Party Systems and Foreign Policy Change in Liberal Democracies : Cleavages, Ideas, Competition book cover
1st Edition

Party Systems and Foreign Policy Change in Liberal Democracies
Cleavages, Ideas, Competition

ISBN 9780367444631
Published December 23, 2020 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

How do political parties affect foreign policy? This book answers this question by exploring the role of party politics as source of foreign policy change in liberal democracies.

The book shifts the focus from individual political parties to party systems as the context in which parties’ ideologies receive precise content and their preferences are formed. The central claim is that foreign policy change arises from within transformed discursive contexts of party competition, when a new language of politics that constitutes anew parties’ self-understanding of what they stand for and compete over emerges in a party system. By comparing cases of contested foreign policy change, the book shows how such transformations in party competition determine whether and when international pressures on a state will translate into decisions to institute foreign policy change and what degree of change will be ultimately implemented.

With a novel framework which bridges concepts of international relations and comparative politics, the book will be of interest to researchers and students in the areas of international relations theory, foreign policy analysis and comparative politics, and generally to anyone wanting to understand how and when parties, elections and voters contribute to international change.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – A New Framework for Understanding Party-Based Foreign Policy Change

Chapter 2 – West Germany 1969-74: The Social-Liberal Coalition and Ostpolitik

Chapter 3 – Canada 1984-1993: Revolt of The Peripheries and Free Trade with The US

Chapter 4 – Greece 1993-2000: Rapprochement with Turkey and Renewal of a Two-Party System

Chapter 5 – Empirical and Conceptual Implications of the Argument


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Angelos Chryssogelos is lecturer (assistant professor) in politics and international relations at the School of Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University and a Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute.


'This book examines the importance of political parties to foreign policy given the surprising results of elections in liberal democracies in recent years. It advances our knowledge of party politics to account for the content, degree, timing and policy area of foreign policy change through a nuanced account of the nexus of international and domestic pressures on party competition. Our knowledge of party politics and foreign policy change are substantially enriched as a result of this timely and welcome contribution to the literature.' – Cameron G. Thies, Professor of Political Science, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University, USA

'Finally, a book dedicated to political parties and foreign policy. Chryssogelos upends the external/internal dichotomy, showing how the dynamics of party competition determine how states respond to structural pressures. The volume pushes the boundaries of the field, bringing society and the state back into the politics of foreign policy change, and weaving together a host of themes in electoral and party politics. Essential reading for anybody interested in the link between politics at home and abroad.' –  Benjamin Martill, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh, UK