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Social Democratic Party Exceptionalism and Transnational Policy Linkages

Schleiter, Petra and Bohmelt, Tobias and Ezrow, Lawrence and Lehrer, Roni (2021) 'Social Democratic Party Exceptionalism and Transnational Policy Linkages.' World Politics, 73 (3). pp. 512-544. ISSN 0043-8871

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Political parties learn from foreign incumbents, i.e., parties abroad that won office. But does the scope of this cross-national policy diffusion vary with the party family that generates incumbents? We argue that party family conditions transnational policy learning when it makes information on the positions of sister parties more readily available and relevant. Both conditions apply to Social Democratic parties. Unlike other party families, Social Democrats faced major competitive challenges from the 1970s and they exhibit exceptionally strong transnational organizations – factors that, as we contend, uniquely facilitate cross-national policy learning from successful parties within the family. We analyze parties’ policy positions using spatial methods and find that Social Democratic parties are indeed exceptional as they emulate one another across borders more than Christian Democrats and Conservatives. These findings have important implications for our understanding of political representation and of Social Democratic parties’ election strategies over the last forty years.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Democracy; Party Policy Positions; Diffusion; Political Representation; Political Parties
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2021 15:53
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:20

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