Parties, Policies, and Democracy

Parties, Policies, and Democracy

Book - 1994
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In democracies, contemporary politics is party politics, and parties serve to organize the political process even as they ensure democratic representation of minority and majority policy preferences. How do they do this? In great part, as this ambitious survey shows, parties translate policy preferences into policy priorities by articulating and enacting clearly defined party platforms. There is, this international author team demonstrates, a strong connection between what parties say they will do in an election campaign and what they actually do when elected. In sum, we are shown that political parties deserve more credit than they often receive.This book addresses questions central to the operation of modern democracies and can be used to inform institutional development in emerging democracies. It is at once an ambitious summary of original research and a model text for students of comparative politics. First the theory and method are introduced. Then, ten key countries are covered in parallel detail, with the discussions proceeding from general consideration of institutional and political context and program and party trends to more specific examinations of the congruence between party programs and policy outcomes. The data for all countries and parties span the post-World War II period up to the late 1980s. The analyses employ agenda, mandate, and ideology models and expenditure analyses across key policy arenas.Because of its commitment to comparative rather than merely descriptive analysis, Parties, Policies, and Democracy offers convincing answers to basic questions about the functioning of democratic political systems. Rigorous comparative analysis of forty years' experience across ten countries demonstrates that political parties in contemporary democracies work better than critics have claimed. This is important news for emerging democracies just now establishing institutions and policies that bear watching over the next forty-year period.
Publisher: Boulder : Westview Press, 1994
ISBN: 9780813320694
Branch Call Number: 324.2 Kli 3206 01
Characteristics: xxii, 318 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. --
Additional Contributors: Hofferbert, Richard I. 1937-
Budge, Ian


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