The Challenge to Party Government

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dc.contributor.author MAIR, Peter
dc.date.accessioned 2007-10-16T10:38:53Z
dc.date.available 2007-10-16T10:38:53Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.issn 1725-6755
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1814/7158
dc.description.abstract At a time when the literature on political parties is brimming with health and vitality, the parties themselves seem to be experiencing potentially severe legitimacy problems and to be suffering from a quite massive withdrawal of popular support and affection. This paper addresses one key aspect of the problems facing contemporary parties in Europe, which is the challenge to party government. I begin by reviewing the changing pattern of party competition, in which I discuss the decline of partisanship in policymaking and the convergence of parties into a mainstream consensus. I then look again at the familiar ‘parties-do-matter’ thesis and at the evidence for declining partisanship within the electorate. In the third section of the paper I explore the various attempts to specify the conditions for party government, before going on in the final section to argue that these conditions have been undermined in such a way that it is now almost impossible to imagine party government in contemporary Europe either functioning effectively or sustaining complete legitimacy. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.relation.ispartofseries EUI SPS en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 2007/09 en
dc.title The Challenge to Party Government en
dc.type Working Paper en
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