Political parties are the most important intermediary groups between civil society and the state. Their role is central for politics and policy-making in Europe. In this chapter, one deals with the main transformation of political parties since the 1970s. The chapter also seeks to give an account of the most important party families that can be found in most countries across Europe.
Questions for Revision:
What is understood under the ‘cartel party’? Discuss using examples of at
least two countries.
• Compare the ideology of the main political party families.
• Why is membership of political parties declining. Discuss using examples from at least two different countries.
• Compare political parties in ‘old’ and ‘new’ democracies. Discuss using examples from at least two countries.
• How would you explain the emergence of ‘new populist’ parties in Europe?
Important chapters and articles
Katz, Richard S. and Peter Mair (1995), Changing Models of Party Organization and Party Democracy, Party Politics,1,1: 5–28.
–––– (2002), The Ascendancy of the Party in Public Office: Party Organizational Change in Twentieth-Century Democracies. In: Richard Gunther, José Ramón Montero and Juan J.
Linz (eds), Political Parties: Old Concepts and New Challenges. Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, pp.113–35.
Lipset, Seymour Martin (2001), The Americanization of the European Left, Journal of
Democracy, 12, 2: 74–87.
Kitschelt, Herbert (1997), European Party System: Continuity and Change. In: Martin Rhodes, Paul Heywood and Vincent Wright (eds), Developments in West European Politics. Basingstoke: Macmillan, pp.131–50.
Mair, Peter (1993), Myths of Electoral Change and the Survival of Traditional Parties. The 1992 Stein Rokkan Lecture. In: European Journal for Political Research, 24: 121–33.
Mair, Peter and Ingrid van Biezen (2001), Party Membership in Twenty Democracies (1980–2000). Party Politics, 7,1: 5–21.
Olson, David M. (1998), Party Formation and Party System Consolidation in the New Democracies of Central Europe. Political Studies, 46, 3: 432–64.
General on political parties
Gunther, Richard, José Ramón Montero and Juan J. Linz (eds)(2002), Political Parties: Old Concepts and New Challenges. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Central and Eastern Europe
Lewis, Paul G. (2003), Political Parties in Post-Communist Eastern Europe. London: Routledge.
Mair, Peter (1997), Party System Change. Approaches and Interpretations. Oxford: Oxford
Mair, Peter, Wolfgang C. Müller and Fritz Plasser (eds) (2004), Political Parties and Electoral
Change.Party Responses to Electoral Markets. London: SAGE .
Panebianco, Angelo (1988), Political Parties: Organization and Power. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Pennings, Paul and Jan-Erik Lane (eds) (1998), Comparing Party System Change. London:
Sartori, Giovanni (2005), Parties and Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis. Colchester:
ECPR Press [first published in 1976 by Cambridge University Press].
On Western Europe
Broughton, David and Mark Donovan (eds) (1999), Changing Party Systems in Western
Europe. London: Pinter.
On social democracy
Ladrech, Robert and Philippe Marlière (eds) (1999), Social Democratic Parties in the
European Union: History, Organization,Policies. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Kitschelt, Herbert (1995), The Transformation of European Social Democracy. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Christian democracy and conservative parties
David Hanley (ed.) (1996), Christian Democracy in Europe: A Comparative Perspective.
Bull, Martin J., and Paul Heywood, eds (1994), West European Communist Parties after
the Revolutions of 1989. London: Macmillan.
Taggart, Paul (2000), Populism. Buckingham: Open University Press.
van Biezen, Ingrid (2003), Political Parties in New Democracies. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Party
Politics [Electronic journal]