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Party System ChangeApproaches and Interpretations$
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Peter Mair

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198295499.001.0001

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Continuities, Changes, and the Vulnerability of Party

Continuities, Changes, and the Vulnerability of Party

(p.19) 2 Continuities, Changes, and the Vulnerability of Party
Party System Change

Peter Mair (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This is the first of three chapters on persistence and change in political parties. Its theme is continuities, changes, and the vulnerability of the party in western Europe, and the aim is to emphasize the link between party organization or styles of organizational intervention and electoral (de)stabilization. The discussion is presented in seven sections: (1) What Parties Are and What Parties Do –– respectively, their historic political identity and their contemporary appeals, with the latter often bearing little relation to historic identities; (2) Left, Right, and Policy Competition; (3) Left, Right, and Voter Alignments; (4) A Crisis of Party? (5) Catch-All Politics and Party Vulnerability; (6) Organizational Change and Electoral Change; and (7) Organizational Change: A Research Agenda.

Keywords:   change, electoral (de)stabilization, electoral change, historic party political identities, instability, left–right policy competition, organizational change, organizational intervention, party organization, party vulnerability, persistence, policy competition, political parties, stability, voter alignment, western Europe, western party systems

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