Since its release in 1980, Kay Lawson's Political Parties and Linkage: A Comparative Perspective has become a classic text in the field of political science. In her groundbreaking work Lawson approaches linkage from an angle left unexplored by her predecessors. Her thinking filled in the systematic and theoretical void by envisioning political parties as the link between citizens and policy makers. This collection of essays by leading political scientists reflects on Lawson's concept of linkage, its theory, and its application over the last quarter century. The work is divided into two sections, the first covers linkage's impact on party research and the second focuses on its application in general political science. The first looks at such topics as the evolution and intellectual development of Lawson's concept through social actors, policy responsiveness, and multi-layer politics. The second handles issues like globalization, the relation of state and society, the European Union and it's proposed constitutional reform, and the cross-cultural significance of linkage in such countries as India. The book concludes with an illuminating chapter by Lawson that responds to the featured themes and explains her current views on linkage and democracy.
KRIS DESCHOUWER is professor of political science at the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels. His research and publications focus on political parties, party systems, consociational democracy, and comparative federalism and regionalism. He is the editor of the European Journal of Political Research.
EVA ETZIONI-HALEVY is Professor Emeritus at Bar-Ilan University where from 1989 to 2002 she was professor of sociology. She is series editor for Israel Studies of the Israel Sociological Association. She is a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. Her main area of interest is the relationship between elites and democracy. She has written and edited fourteen academic books, including The Elite Connection (1993). She is the editor of Classes and Elites in Democratization and Democracy (1997).
DAVID M. FARRELL is professor and head of politics (GIPP) at the University of Manchester. A coeditor of Party Politics, he has written widely on the study of parties, campaigns, and electoral systems. His most recent books are Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies (2002) and Do Political Campaigns Matter? (2002). He is in the process of completing two other projects: one on the representative role of Members of the European Parliament and the other on Australia's electoral systems.PIERO IGNAZI is professor of comparative politics at the University of Bologna. He has written extensively on Italian party politics and European extreme right parties. His most recent books comprise Il potere deipartiti (2002), Extreme Right Parties in Western Europe (2003), Il Parlamento Europeo (with L. Bardi) (2004).
KAY LAWSON is Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University and general editor of the International Political Science Review. Her research and publications have focused on the comparative study of political parties, including Political Parties and Democracy and the Llnited States, The Comparative Study of Political Parties, Political Parties, and Linkage (ed.), When Parties Fail (with Peter H. Merkt), How Political Parties Work (ed.), Cleavages, Parties, and Voters (with Andrea Römmele and Georgi Karasimeonov), and How Political Parties Respond (with Thomas Poguntke). She is also the author of The Human Polity (now in its fifth edition). In 2003 she received the Eldersveld Award (for "a lifetime of outstanding scholarly and professional contributions to the study of parties and political organizations").
PETER H. MERKL is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Recent books include The Revival of Rightwing Extremism in the Nineties and Rightzving Extremism in the Tzventyfirst Century (both with Leonard Weinberg), The Federal Republic of Germany at Fifty, and A Coup Attempt in Washington. He is currently coediting a collection of essays on party systems with Kay Lawson, titled When Parties Prosper.SUBRATA K. MITRA is professor and head of the department of political science at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. He also is president of the Research Committee on Political Sociology of the International Political Science Association and the International Sociological Association (2002-2006). His publications include The Puzzle of India's Governance: Culture, Context and Comparative Theory (forthcoming) and Political Parties in South Asia: The Asianisation of a Western Model (Greenwood, 2004).
ANDREA RÖMMELE is a research fellow at the MZES, University of Mannheim. She is secretary of the Research Committee on Political Sociology of the International Political Science Association and the International Sociological Association (2002-2006). Her research interests are in the field of comparative political parties and political communication. Her recent publications include Electronic Democracy (2004) and Direkte Kommunikation zwischen Parteien and Wählern (2002).
HERMANN SCHMITT is a research fellow at the MZES, University of Mannheim, and the director of its research area, Political Parties and Political Linkage. He is also a Privatdozent for Political Science at the Free University of Berlin. He has written extensively on comparative electoral behavior, political representation (and mass-elite linkages more generally), and the politics of European integration. He is also the coordinator of the European Elections Study, 2004.
MILDRED A. SCHWARTZ is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Visiting Scholar in the department of sociology at New York University. Her interests cover political organizations and political life, primarily in Canada and the United States. In 2004 she was awarded a Citation for Distinguished Scholarship in Canadian Studies from the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States. Her recent work includes Persisting Political Challengers (2005) and The Handbook of Political Sociology (coeditor, 2005).
COLETTE YSMAL was a researcher at the Center of French Political Studies (CEVIPOF-Sciences-po) in Paris. Her research interests are in the field of political parties and elections. She is currently writing a book on the Socialist Electorate since 1945.