Political Parties and Party Systems

By Alan Ware | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
STABILITY AND CHANGE IN PARTY SYSTEMS

SECTION A
An obvious, though sometimes overlooked, point about party systems is how durable they are. Of the twenty-three established, independent liberal democracies in the late 1950s, only four had a radically different party system thirty years later at the end of the 1980s: 1
• Belgium (where a two-and-a-half party system had transformed into fragmented multipartism);
• France (where polarized multipartism had been replaced by a more moderate multipartism);
• India (where the previously predominant Congress Party had lost that position);
• Israel (where consolidation of the right-wing parties in Likud transformed the dynamics of the multiparty system).

There were three other countries where less radical changes in the party system were evident. In Norway and Denmark the declining vote of, respectively, the Labour and Social Democratic parties had altered the position of the previously most powerful party in the system. In addition, the Liberal Party in Norway and the Radicals in Denmark had experienced long-term decline. The third country was Iceland where the basic configuration of the parties persisted, but where at the very end of the 1960s the party system became far more prone to electoral volatility and to the entry of new parties. However, the overwhelming impression, at least when first glancing at this list of countries, is one of continuity in most party systems.

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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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