Political Parties and Party Systems

By Alan Ware | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
THE CLASSIFICATION OF PARTY SYSTEMS

SECTION A
Party systems involve both competition and co-operation between the different parties in that system. This chapter examines whether it is possible and worth while classifying these arenas of competition and co-operation. There are two reasons why a classification of party systems has been thought to be an important stage in comparing party systems.
For a considerable time, and especially in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, most political scientists believed that there was a limited number of types of party system to be found among the liberal democracies. The earliest, and crudest, classifications posited a distinction between two-party and multiparty systems, though later classifications, such as Sartori's, were far more complex than this. But common to all of them was the attempt to explain the distinctive kind of party behaviour that was supposedly associated with each of the different types of party system. Attempts at classification grew out of a quite natural ambition by political scientists to be able to say more than, for example, that the main features of the British party system include (a),(b), and (c), while the main features of the Japanese system include (x),(y), and (z). Political scientists wanted to be able to say that the British party system is an example of a particular type of party system--say, M--and, as such, its features include (a) and (b), though it also displays the distinctive feature (c); on the other hand, Japan has a party system of type N, and because of this its features include (x) and (y), although it also happens to have the peculiar feature (z). Political science could then go on to try to explain why systems of types M and N developed in the way that they did.

Unfortunately, in the real world there are a large number of variables affecting

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Political Parties and Party Systems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Figures xi
  • List of Tables xii
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • About This Book xvi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Parties 15
  • Chapter One - Parties and Ideology 17
  • Chapter Two - Supporters, Members, and Activists 63
  • Chapter Three - Party Organizations 93
  • Chapter Four - Parties in Non-Liberal- Democratic Regimes 124
  • Part II - Party Systems 145
  • Chapter Five - The Classification of Party Systems 147
  • Chapter Six - Why Party Systems Differ 184
  • Chapter Seven - Stability and Change in Party Systems 213
  • Chapter Eight - Party Systems in Non- Liberal-Democratic Regimes 245
  • Part III - Moving towards Government 255
  • Chapter Nine - The Selection of Candidates and Leaders 257
  • Chapter Ten - Campaigning for Election 289
  • Chapter Eleven - Voter Choice and Government Formation 317
  • Chapter Twelve - Parties in Government 349
  • Conclusions 377
  • Appendix 1 - France 383
  • Appendix 2 - Germany 388
  • Appendix 3 - Great Britain 391
  • Appendix 4 - Japan 395
  • Appendix 5 - United States 398
  • Notes 404
  • Index 417
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