ISBN 9788130909660,When Parties Prosper: The Uses of Electoral Success

When Parties Prosper: The Uses of Electoral Success



Lynne Rienner Publishers

Publication Year 2008

ISBN 9788130909660

ISBN-10 8130909669


Number of Pages 440 Pages
Language (English)


Have parties, and party systems, come back to life in the twenty-first century? Are they capable of playing their roles in ways that will foster rather than betray the public interest? These are among the questions explored in When Parties Prosper, a richly comparative, up-to-date, and accessible study of political parties in power in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Each country study in the book reviews the country's political history, describes its present party system, provides a detailed study of the one or two most powerful parties in the system, and evaluates the impact the parties have on government efficacy, stability, and democratic legitimacy. Two broadly comparative chapters highlight differences and similarities across the countries. Following a common structure, the authors offer answers to their core questions--but they are answers that are sure to stimulate discussion, disagreement, and reassessment.

About the Author
Kay Lawson is professor emerita of political science at San Francisco State University. She is author of numerous books and articles on political parties.

Peter H. Merkl is professor emeritus of political science at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Table of Contents
Political Parties in the Twenty-First Century
Part 1 Parties on the Left
Britain's New Labour Party: Prospering in an Antiparty Climate
Sweden: Still a Stable Party System?
European Social Democracy: Failing Successfully
Poland's Democratic Left Alliance: Beyond Postcommunist Succession
The Lithuanian Social Democrats: A Prosperous Postcommunist Party
The Uruguayan Party System: Transition Within Transition
Part 2 Parties on the Right
Germany's Christian Democrats: Survivors in a Secular Society
Japan: Why Parties Fail, Yet Survive
Russia's Political Parties: Deep in the Shadow of the President
Mexico: Helping the Opposition Prosper
Israel's Shas: Party Prosperity and Dubious Democracy
Chile': From Individual Politics to Party Militancy
Part 3 Comparing Opposing Parties
Italy: A Tale of Two Parties
France: Antisystem vs. Government Parties
The US Two-Party System: Using Power to Prosper
Part 4 Conclusions
Becoming the Party of Government
When Parties Dedemocratize
List of Acronyms
The Contributers