Peter Mair, Wolfgang C. Müller, and Fritz Plasser (Eds.)  
  Political Parties and Electoral Change vergrößerte Ansicht in neuem Fenster    
  Party Responses to Electoral Markets  
  280 p., London, Sage, 2004  
  ISBN: paper 0-7619-4719-1; cloth 0-7619-4718-3  
Go to


Notes on Contributors


How have Europe's mainstream political parties responded to the long-term decline in voter loyalties?

What are the consequences of this change in the electoral markets in which parties now operate?

Popular disengagement, disaffection, and withdrawal on the one hand, and increasing popular support for protest parties on the other, have become the hallmarks of modern European politics. This book provides an excellent account of how political parties in Western Europe are perceiving and are responding to these contemporary challenges of electoral dealignment. Each chapter employs a common format to present and compare the changing strategies of established parties and party systems in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Ireland. The result is an invaluable portrait of the changing electoral environment and how parties are interacting with each another and voters today. Political Parties and Electoral Change is essential reading for anybody seeking a deeper understanding of contemporary electoral politics and of the challenges facing west European party systems.


1. Introduction: Electoral Challenges and Party Responses
Peter Mair, Wolfgang C. Müller and Fritz Plasser
2. Party Responses to the Changing Electoral Market in Britain
Paul Webb
3. Ephemeral Victories? France's Governing Parties, the Ecologists, and the Far Right
Andrew Knapp
4 Embracing Dealignment, Combating Realignment German Parties Respond
Susan E. Scarrow
5 Party Responses to Electoral Dealignment in Italy
Luciano Bardi
6. Party Responses to the Erosion of Voter Loyalties in Austria: Weakness as an Advantage and Strength as a Handicap
Wolfgang C. Müller, Fritz Plasser and Peter A Ulram
7. Political Parties and Their Reactions to the Erosion of Voter Loyalty in Belgium: Caught in a Trap
Kris Deschouwer
8. Electoral Fortunes and Responses of the Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party in Denmark: Ups and Downs
Lars Bille and Karina Pedersen
9. Political Parties in Electoral Markets in Postwar Ireland
Peter Mair and Michael Marsh
10. Conclusion: Political Parties in Changing Electoral Markets
Peter Mair, Wolfgang C. Müller and Fritz Plasser
About the Contributors  

Notes on Contributors

Luciano Bardi is Professor of Comparative Politics and International Relations at the University of Pisa. He is author and co-author of numerous books and articles on European Union politics and institutions and of several essays on Italian parties and on the Italian party system, as well as co-editor of ltalian Politics. Mapping the Future (1998) and editor of Forma partito e sistemi di partita tra due secoli (2004).

Lars Bille is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of Partier i Forandring (1997) and Fra Valgkamp tit Valgkamp (1998) and co-editor of Partiernes Medlemmer (2003). His English language publications include artic1es in West European Politics and Party Politics.

Kris Deschouwer is Professor of Political Science at the Free University of Brussels. He is author of Organiseren of Bewegen. De evolutie van de Belgisehe partijstrueturen sinds 1960 (1993), De worteis van de democratie (1996) and co-author of Culture, Institutions and Economie Development. A Study of Eight European Regions (2003), and co-editor of Party Elites in Divided Societies (2001). His artic1es have appeared in European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics, Regional and Federal Studies, Environmental Politics and in many edited volumes, inc1uding Party Organizations (1992), How Parties Organize (1994) and Political Parties in Democratic Societies (2002).

Andrew Knapp is Senior Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Reading. He is author of Le Gaullisme après de Gaulle (1996) and of Parties and the Party System in France: a Disconnected Democracy? (2004), and co-author, with Yves Mény, of Government and Politics in Western Europe (3rd edition, 1998) and, with Vincent Wright, of The Government and Politics of France (4th edition, 2001).

Peter Mair is Professor of Comparative Politics at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and is co-editor of West European Politics. He is co-author of Representative Government in Modern Europe (3rd edition, 2000) and author of Party System Change (1997). He is co-editor of The Enlarged European Union (2002).

Michael Marsh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Trinity College, University of Dublin. He has written extensivelyon parties and elections, both in Ireland and elsewhere. He is the co-author of Days of Blue Loyalty: the PolWes of Membership of Fine Gael (2002), co-editor of How Ireland Voted 2002 (2003), and co-director of the 2002 Irish election study. His articles have appeared in journals such as European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics, and Electoral Studies.

Wolfgang C. Müller is Professor of Political Science at the University of Mannheim and previously taught at the University of Vienna. He is senior author of Die österreichischen Abgeordneten, Individuelle Präferenzen und politsches Verhalten (2001) and co-editor of Policy, Office, or Votes? How Political Parties in Western Europe Make Hard Decisions (1999), Coalition Governments in Western Europe (2000) (both with Kaare Strøm), and Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies (2003) (with Kaare Stmm and Torbjörn Bergman).

Karina Pedersen is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. She is the author of Party Membership Linkage. The Danish Case (2003).

Fritz Plasser is Professor of Political Science at the University of lnnsbruck. He is author of Parteien unter Stress (1987), co-editor of The Austrian Party System (1989), Wählerverhalten und Parteienwettbewerb (1995), Wahlkampf und Wählerentscheidung (1996), Das österreich ische Wahlverhalten (2000), Wahlverhalten in Bewegung (2003) and several other books. His English language publications include Global Political Campaigning (2002) as weIl as articles in West European Politics, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics and edited volumes.

Susan E. Scarrow is Professor ofPolitical Science at the University ofHouston. She is author of Parties and Their Members (1996), editor of Perspectives on Political Parties (2002), and co-editor of Democracy Transformed? (2003). Her articles have appeared in such journals as the European Journal ofPolitical Research, Comparative Political Studies, Party Politics, and German Politics.

Peter A. Ulram is Director of the Department for Political Research at the Fessel + GtK Institut and Associate Professor at the University of Vienna. He is author of Hegemonie und Erosion (1990), co-author of Das österreichische Politikverständnis (2002), and co-editor of Wahlverhalten in Bewegung (2003). His English language publications have appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, and in edited volumes.

Paul Webb is Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex. His research interests [ocus on representative democracy, particularly party and electoral politics. The author or editor of several volumes, including The Modern British Party System (2000) and Political Parties in Advaneed Industrial Societies (2002), he is a co-editor of both Party Politics and Representation.