Parties without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies

By Martin P. Wattenberg; Russell J. Dalton | Go to book overview

intermediary representative strata (Lipow and Seyd 1996 ; Seyd 1999). Nevertheless, for all the manipulative potential of Mair's paradox of democratization as emasculation (of sub-leadership groups), it would be foolish to regard the mass party as some kind of paragon of democratic virtue; Michels pointed out as much early in the twentieth century, and few who witnessed the operation of the British Labour Party's system of delegatory democracy could have deluded themselves in this respect. In any case, if we are to take the notion of cognitive mobilization seriously (see Chapter 1 in this volume), we must give more credit to the potential and actual role played by the ranks of armchair members of modern parties. Many of them may be inactive when it comes to the mundane virtues of attending party meetings and running campaigns, yet they are better placed than most of their predecessors in terms of educational experience and access to independent political information. There are good reasons, therefore, to suppose that they possess the capacity to make informed and rational judgements about matters of candidate and leadership selection, and even party policy. Seen in this light, even the most strategically calculating electoralist leaders may find themselves operating in an authentically democratic context of sorts. At the very least, it would be surprising indeed if party elites generally managed to assume and maintain perfect control of their organizations in the top-down manner which the 'paradox of democratization' interpretation seems to imply. In short, there are still good reasons for supposing that political parties remain vital, if imperfect, mechanisms of linkage in modern democratic societies.


Appendix Leadership Selectorate Details, by Party

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Parties without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Comparative Politics ii
  • Parties Without Partisans iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables x
  • Notes on Contributors xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I Parties in the Electorate 17
  • 2 the Decline of Party Identifications 19
  • Appendix 62
  • 4 the Decline of Party Mobilization 64
  • Part II Parties as Political Organizations 77
  • 5 Parties Without Members? 79
  • Quantitative Changes in the Resourcing of West European Political Parties 126
  • Appendix Leadership Selectorate Details, by Party 150
  • Part III Parties in Government 155
  • 8 Parties in Legislatures: 157
  • 9 Parties at the Core of Government 180
  • Appendix 204
  • 11 on the Primacy of Party in Government 238
  • Conclusion 259
  • Appendix 285
  • References 286
  • Index 311
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