Representation and Party Politics. A Comparative Perspective

  • ID: 4071929
  • Book
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Representation and party politics is one of the core themes of the comparatvie study of politics. What function do parties serve? What is the essential relationship between people and parties? Are parties simply a way of reproducing a political elite that rules and governs? These are some of the questions Graham asks in his analysis of our understandings of political parties, their internal structures and external realtions.

While surveying a rich literature on parties and party systems, emphasizing the continuing relevance of earlier writings, the author sets out the main problems that should be addressed in the study of political parties. We are then lucidly led through a range of empirical cases illustrating party performance in relation to electoral behaviour, and introduced to a range of theoretically–driven models of performance, behaviour and recruitment. The book culminates in a superb discussion of factionalism within parties, and an epxloration of populism in mass politics.

Graham′s challenging work introduces and reveals aspects of party dynamics and representation which are essential to students of politics and political scientists alike.

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"Representation and Party Politics is an impressivetour de force which combines the skills of the historian and the sociologist in order to analyse the organization and evolution of political parties from three continents. Running through the complezities of internal party factions and rallies is a framework that strikes a fine balance between the individual actor driven by the amoral quest for power and the organization that seeks to achieve cohesion by constraining such behaviour through ideology and party discipline. The fact that in spite of this parties sometimes do collapse and rallies take over, only provides a window to the complexity of the political context within which parties are ensconced. Its comparative and cross–cultural framework, engaging style and scholarly range should make it compulsory reading for anyone seriously interested in the secret life of political parties."Dr Subrata K. Mitra, the University of Hull

"This is not only a valuable comparative and historical treatment of party politics, it also incorporates a number a useful case–studies, notably of political parties in France and India." Professor C. A. Bayly, St Catharine′s College, Cambridge

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