Political Parties: Old Concepts and New Challenges

Richard Gunther, José Ramón Montero, Juan Linz
OUP Oxford, 7. mar. 2002 - 384 sider
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This book, with contributions from leading scholars in the field, presents a critical overview of much of the recent literature on political parties. It systematically assesses the capacity of existing concepts, typologies, and methodological approaches to deal with contemporary parties. It critically analyses the 'decline of parties' literature both from a conceptual perspective and - with regard to antiparty attitudes among citizens - on the basis of empirical analyses of survey data. It systematically re-examines the underpinnings of rational-choice analyses of electoral competition, as well as the misapplication of standard party models as the 'catch-all party.' Several chapters reexamine existing models of parties and party typologies, particularly with regard to the capacity of commonly used concepts to capture the wide variation among parties that exist in old and new democracies today, and with regard to their ability to deal adequately with the new challenges that parties are facing in rapidly changing political, social and technological environments. In particular, two detailed case studies demonstrate how party models are significant not only as frameworks for scholarly research, but also insofar as they can affect party performance. Other chapters also examine in detail how corruption and party patronage have contributed to party decline, as well as the public attitudes towards parties in several countries. In the aggregate, the various contributions to this volume reject the notion that a 'decline of party' has progressed to such an extent as to threaten the survival of parties as the crucial intermediary actors in modern democracies. The contributing authors argue, however, that parties are facing a new set of sometimes demanding challenges. Not only have parties differed significantly in their ability to successfully meet these challenges, but the core concepts, typologies, party chdels and methodological approaches that have guided research in this area over the past 40 years have met with only mixed success in adequately capturing these recent developments and serving as fruitful frameworks for analysis. This book is intended to remedy some of these shortcomings.

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Utvalgte sider


Reviewing and Reassessing Parties
I Reconceptualizing Parties and Party Competition
II Reexamining Party Organization and Party Models
III Revisiting Party Linkages and Attitudes Towards Parties

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Side 40 - Party is a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavors the national interest upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed.
Side 11 - Down assumed, act solely in order to attain the income, prestige, and power which come from being in office.. ..[They] never seek office as a means of carrying out particular policies; their only goal is to reap the rewards of holding office per se. They treat policies purely as a means to the attainment of their private ends.
Side 11 - ... never seek office as a means of carrying out particular policies; their only goal is to reap the rewards of holding office per se. They treat policies purely as a means to the attainment of their private ends. Buchanan and Tullock began with the same behavioral assumptions as Downs. "The average individual," they wrote, "acts on the basis of the same overall value scale when he participates in a market activity and in political activity.
Side 11 - Parties formulate policies in order to win elections, rather than win elections in order to formulate...
Side 64 - Will this limited participation which the catch-all party offers the population at large, this call to rational and dispassionate participation in the political process via officially sanctioned channels, work? The instrument, the catch-all party, cannot be much more rational than its nominal master, the individual voter. No longer subject to the discipline of the party of integration — or, as in the United States, never subject to this discipline — the voters may, by their shifting moods and...
Side 100 - To emphasize the difference involved here let us call "position issues" those that involve advocacy of government actions from a set of alternatives over which a distribution of voter preferences is defined. And borrowing a term from Kurt Lewin let us call "valence issues" those that merely involve the linking of the parties with some condition that is positively or negatively valued by the electorate.
Side 67 - Molletisme," the absolute reign of short-term tactical considerations, b) Further strengthening of top leadership groups, whose actions and omissions are now judged from the viewpoint of their contribution to the efficiency of the entire social system rather than identification with the goals of their particular organization, c) Downgrading of the role of the individual party member, a role considered a historical relic which may obscure the newly built-up catch-all party image...
Side 88 - Suppose we reverse the roles of these two elements and make the deciding of issues by the electorate secondary to the election of the men who are to do the deciding.
Side 11 - To avoid this result, we redefine party as follows: a political party is a team of men seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election. By team, we mean a coalition whose members agree on all their goals instead of on just part of them.

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