Research Repository

Linking Citizens and Parties

Ezrow, Lawrence (2010) Linking Citizens and Parties. Oxford University Press, pp. 1-208.

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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
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 11:02
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:43

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