Political Parties and Democracy

Overview

Political parties are one of the core institutions of democracy. But in democracies around the world—rich and poor, Western and non-Western—there is growing evidence of low or declining public confidence in parties. In membership, organization, and popular involvement and commitment, political parties are not what they used to be. But are they in decline, or are they simply changing their forms and functions? In contrast to authors of most previous works on political parties, which tend to focus exclusively on ...

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Overview

Political parties are one of the core institutions of democracy. But in democracies around the world—rich and poor, Western and non-Western—there is growing evidence of low or declining public confidence in parties. In membership, organization, and popular involvement and commitment, political parties are not what they used to be. But are they in decline, or are they simply changing their forms and functions? In contrast to authors of most previous works on political parties, which tend to focus exclusively on long-established Western democracies, the contributors to this volume cover many regions of the world. Theoretically, they consider the essential functions that political parties perform in democracy and the different types of parties. Historically, they trace the emergence of parties in Western democracies and the transformation of party cleavage in recent decades. Empirically, they analyze the changing character of parties and party systems in postcommunist Europe, Latin America, and five individual countries that have witnessed significant change: Italy, Japan, Taiwan, India, and Turkey. As the authors show, political parties are now only one of many vehicles for the representation of interests, but they remain essential for recruiting leaders, structuring electoral choice, and organizing government. To the extent that parties are weak and discredited, the health of democracy will be seriously impaired.

Contributors: Larry Diamond and Richard Gunther • Hans Daalder • Philippe Schmitter • Seymour Martin Lipset • Giovanni Sartori • Bradley Richardson • Herbert Kitschelt • Michael Coppedge • Ergun Ozbudun • Yun-han Chu • Leonardo Morlino • Ashutosh Varshney and E. Sridharan • Stefano Bartolini and Peter Mair.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Citing the growing disaffection with the party system within democracy and generally decreasing confidence in government, contributors trace the emergence of political parties in Western democracies, consider the functions that different parties perform, analyze the changing character of parties and party systems, and demonstrate how strong parties are essential to the health of democracy everywhere. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801868634
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Series: A Journal of Democracy Book
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Diamond is a senior research fellow in the Hoover Institute of War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Richard Gunther is a professor of political science at Ohio State University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Contents:



Acknowledgments

Introduction, Larry Diamond and Richard Gunther



I - Theoretical and Historical Perspectives

1 Types and Functions of Parties, Richard Gunther and Larry Diamond

2 The Rise of Parties in Western Democracies, Hans Daalder

3 The Americanization of the European Left, Seymour Martin Lipset

4 Parties Are Not What They Once Were, Philippe C. Schmitter

5 The Party Effects of Electoral Systems, Giovanni Sartori



II Parties and Party Systems After Reform

6 The Three Phases of Italian Parties, Leonardo Morlino

7 Japan's "1955 System" and Beyond, Bradley Richardson



III Developing and Postcommunist Systems

8 Political and Darwinism in Latin America's Lost Decade, Michael Coppedge

9 Toward Modern Pluralism: Political Parties in India, E. Sridharan and Ashutosh Varshney

10 The Institutional Decline of Parties in Turkey, Ergun Özbudun

11 The Legacy of One-Party Hegemony in Taiwan, Yun-han Chu

12 Divergent Paths of Postcommunist Democracies, Herbert Kitschelt



IV Conclusion

13 Challenges to Contemporary Political Parties, Stefano Bartolini and Peter Mair

Index

Johns Hopkins University Press

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