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Linking Citizens and Parties: How Electoral Systems Matter for Political Representation

Ezrow, L (2010) Linking Citizens and Parties: How Electoral Systems Matter for Political Representation. UNSPECIFIED. ISBN 9780199572526

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Abstract

© Lawrence Ezrow 2010. All rights reserved. Democracy depends on parties to articulate the political preferences of citizens. Do parties perform this crucial function? This book moves beyond conjecture to address empirically the degree to which parties across Western Europe represent citizens. The study highlights the pathways (mainstream and niche) through which citizens' political preferences are expressed by their political parties. It concludes with a positive evaluation of these democracies as their citizens have access to at least one, and possibly both niche and mainstream pathways. This book makes three basic arguments. First, electoral systems do not matter in the ways that are commonly accepted. Electoral systems however do influence niche party competitiveness. The role of niche parties in turn has dramatic implications for the way in which representation works. Thus, electoral systems matter because they influence the level of niche party competition. Linking Citizens and Parties addresses familiar questions about political representation: Are parties responsive to their core supporters or to the public in general? Do parties that adopt centrist policy positions benefit in elections? Does proportional representation encourage party extremism? These fundamental questions about democracy are paired with empirical observation of Western European democracies over the last thirty years.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Carla Xena Galindo
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 11:02
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 22:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/3439

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