I am extremely grateful to a large number of people who, in different ways, have helped me in the writing of this book. The first person I wish to thank is Tim Barton, of Oxford University Press, whose idea it was originally and who provided great support from the inception of the project.
The first drafts of several chapters were written while I was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) of the University of California at Berkeley. IGS provides one of the best environments in which a political scientist can conduct research and write. As with my previous visits to IGS, I believe that most of the credit for the productivity of my time there is due to the Director, Nelson Polsby, and the various people associated with the Institute--including Adrienne Jamieson, Linda Polsby, and many others. In such a friendly and interesting environment for research I felt I never wanted to leave, even though my 'home institution' ( Worcester College, Oxford) is also a highly supportive and stimulating academic community.
Some of the expenses for the first visit to Berkeley (in the autumn of 1992) were met by a grant from the Mellon Fund, while I received a grant towards the cost of the second visit (in the summer of 1993) from the Moncrieff Fund at Worcester College. I wish to thank both Funds for their support.
I have also been very fortunate to have received comments on early drafts of the book from colleagues--comments that have helped me improve considerably the arguments I was outlining. In this regard I am indebted especially to Cécile Fabre, Desmond King, Joni Lovenduski, and Luis Tonelli. I am equally grateful to several referees and academic readers made available by Oxford University Press; most of them provided their comments anonymously but I am able to thank one of them, Kenneth Janda, personally. As they will see, many modifications to the text were made as a consequence of their advice.
Finally, the opportunity to teach about political parties, first at the University of Warwick and more recently at Worcester College, Oxford, has been an important factor in helping me to write this book. I am indebted to the indirect role in its writing played by many generations of students at both institutions.
Like many authors, I sometimes wish that blame for any mistakes and errors in the book could lie with other people; it doesn't--necessarily, the buck starts, and stops, here.
Worcester College, Oxford January 1995