Small Parties in Western Europe: Comparative and National Perspectives

Overview

This is the first comprehensive and systematic analysis of small parties in Western Europe. It fills a significant gap in the comparative study of the politics and party systems of the region. Small parties exist in virtually all Western European countries but their individual and collective importance has remained undefined and largely ignored. Their increasing impact in recent decades has begun to challenge the traditional view that small parties do not matter. On the contrary, their political and societal ...
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Overview

This is the first comprehensive and systematic analysis of small parties in Western Europe. It fills a significant gap in the comparative study of the politics and party systems of the region. Small parties exist in virtually all Western European countries but their individual and collective importance has remained undefined and largely ignored. Their increasing impact in recent decades has begun to challenge the traditional view that small parties do not matter. On the contrary, their political and societal functions can be out of all proportion to their size. The authors formulate five distinct approaches to the study of small parties: a conceptual definitional approach; a numerical definitional approach; a diachronic approach; a classificatory approach; and a systematic approach. These are applied in interestingly different ways to national case studies including Italy, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain and the Netherlands. This original work will be of value to all political scientists concerned with parties and party systems in Western Europe.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This is a wonderful complement to the burgeoning literature on parties and party families....a comprehensive volume' - Political Studies

'a most ambitious yet small book' - West European Politics

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Small Parties in Comparative Perspective: The State of the Art 1
2 In Search of Small Parties: Problems of Definition, Classification and Significance 23
3 The Electoral Universe of Small Parties in Postwar Western Europe 41
4 Italian Small Parties in Comparative Perspective 71
5 The Birth, Life and Death of Small Parties in Danish Politics 95
6 Fragments from the Pillars: Small Parties in the Netherlands 115
7 Small Parties in a Small Country: The Belgian Case 135
8 They Also Serve: Small Parties in the British Political System 152
9 The Decline of Small Parties and the Emergence of Two-Partyism in Greece 174
References 203
Index 221
Notes on the Contributors 231
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