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Linking Citizens and PartiesHow Electoral Systems Matter for Political Representation$
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Lawrence Ezrow

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572526

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572526.001.0001

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Citizen–Party Linkages, Political Institutions, and Type of Party

Citizen–Party Linkages, Political Institutions, and Type of Party

(p.3) 1 Citizen–Party Linkages, Political Institutions, and Type of Party
Linking Citizens and Parties

Lawrence Ezrow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter identifies the conceptual building blocks which will underpin the rest of the study: these are electoral institutions, two models of electoral outcomes, two models of party responsiveness, and type of party (niche and mainstream groupings). The chapter discusses these concepts, assesses the significance of the study, and sets the plan for the book. Figure 1.2 depicts an overview of relationships that are explored in the subsequent chapters. Additionally, the introductory chapter identifies core questions about political representation which will be addressed. Do voting rules affect whether it is electorally advantageous for parties to advocate centrist policy positions? Do these rules affect the average distinctiveness of policy alternatives that parties offer citizens? Do they affect the configuration of niche and mainstream party families that exist or compete within a political system? Finally, how do niche and mainstream party families matter for patterns of political representation, with respect to responsiveness and election outcomes?

Keywords:   political representation, voting rules, partisan constituency, general electorate, party distinctiveness, party proximity, niche, mainstream

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