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Author: Liam Weeks

Independent politicians are the metaphorical equivalent of sheep who stray from the flock, who would rather discover fresh pastures than graze on their own. This book includes a study, a detailed analysis of these independents, primarily of the factors that explain their presence and survival in the midst of one of the longest enduring party democracies in the world. Independents have been a constant feature of the Irish electoral landscape, since the 1922 elections in the Irish Free State. The structure of the book is built around five central premises that explain the permissiveness of independents. The book discusses the openness of the party system, indicating the Downsian nature of independents as they represent groups not catered for by the parties. It presents an overview of independents' electoral fate in other parliamentary democracies, with a focus on Australia and Japan, before examining their fate in Irish elections. In the Irish case, the level of heterogeneity between independents has varied. Providing an insight into the make-up of the independent voter, the book examines the contributions of seven independent politicians, who between them have sat in local government, the Dail, the Seanad and the European Parliament. A party-centred culture is a suppressing agent against independents. In contrast, a permissive candidate-centred culture in Ireland contributes to their significance. Such a political culture is facilitated by a permissive electoral system. The presence of non-party parliamentarians in a mature and stable party democracy is the puzzle that the book has sought to solve.

‘Marquandism’ and the primacy of pluralism and republicanism
Hans Schattle and Jeremy Nuttall

16 Not just any social democracy: ‘Marquandism’ and the primacy of pluralism and republicanism Hans Schattle and Jeremy Nuttall The myriad essays in this collection have set forth the habits, mindsets and qualities of social democratic citizens as well as the political circumstances and economic conditions necessary for a robust version of social democracy to take hold. Several authors have also explored how the writings of David Marquand throughout the past five decades have offered a distinct interpretation with regard to social democratic as well as civic

in Making social democrats
Paul Kennedy

1 The PSOE and social democracy It is important that this book on the Spanish Socialist Party starts with a theoretical discussion of social democracy since the 1970s, when the PSOE went from being a marginal political force to become a viable party of government. The aim is to establish the PSOE’s position and draw lessons from the experience of one of Europe’s most electorally successful social democratic parties over recent decades. Amongst Europe’s oldest social democratic parties, the PSOE was able to establish itself as the most significant political

in The Spanish Socialist Party and the modernisation of Spain
John Anderson

Historically Christianity’s relationship with the democratic project has been ambiguous, as its theoretical commitment to the equality of all before God has often come up against an institutional and theological suspicion of a doctrine that appeared to locate sovereignty in the people. Though religious thinkers rarely discussed democracy as such prior to the modern era, from the fourth century onwards the Church’s growing links to state power made it wary of a doctrine that fundamentally challenged existing (and thus God-given) forms of

in Christianity and democratisation
Bill Jones

interests of those involved. President Mugabe, of Zimbabwe, leader of a one-party dictatorship, for example tried in 2007 to stem runaway inflation by banning firms from making price increases, accusing them of collaborating with opposition elements to bring down his government. During 2008 he also used state-organised violence to determine the results of presidential and parliamentary elections. Democracies like Britain, however, use representative institutions to negotiate between competing interests through the medium of political parties contesting elections. The

in British politics today
Darren Halpin

Introduction The role of interest groups in political life, and public policy making in particular, is well established. Yet research on groups has been, for a long time, a low status form of scholarship in contrast to electoral studies and the study of political parties. While there has been talk of post-parliamentary democracies for several decades (see Jordan and Richardson 1987) – the implication being that groups and not parties or parliaments are the key actors – there has been little discernable sea

in Groups, representation and democracy
What really ended in 1989?
Jack Lawrence Luzkow

5 Social democracy forgets its identity: what really ended in 1989? The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union in 1989 precipitated triumphalist hurrahs from Francis Fukuyama, who was moved to project the “End of History” as such, and the global triumph of liberal democracy. Fukuyama, foreseeing the death of communism everywhere, projected a world that could at last transcend ideology: he anticipated a harmonious future shaped by peace, democracy, and free markets. Far from being an ideology itself, Fukuyama touted the American version of liberalism – and

in The great forgetting
Brian Elliott

limited to broadening the franchise. With respect to contemporary populism, there are two basic factors motivating my assertion of the intrinsic connection between democracy and working-class struggle. First, the widespread assumption that populism is fundamentally anti-democratic in spirit. This assumption is based, I believe, on a misreading of the causes of populism. While I fully recognize the anti-establishment tenor of populism, it does not follow from this that being opposed to the political class, as it is currently composed in liberal democracies such as the

in The roots of populism
The PES, the debt crisis and the Euro
Gerassimos Moschons

14 Reforming Europe, renewing social democracy? The PES, the debt crisis and the Euro-parties Gerassimos Moschonas How to effect a transition from the type of organization characteristic of the preparatory stage of the socialist movement – usually featured by disconnected local groups and clubs, with propaganda as a principal activity – to the unity of a large, national body, suitable for concerted political action over the entire vast territory ruled by the Russian state? … It is clear that the Russian Social Democracy should not organize itself as a

in European social democracy during the global economic crisis
Liberating human agency from liberal legal form
Darrow Schecter

key to a credible critique of the liberal dichotomies as well as a touchstone for questions concerning praxis and legitimacy. Whilst this is obviously pertinent to the state socialist attempt to project beyond liberal democracy, it is also true of new social movements and theories of communicative action. A central concern here is formulating reliable criteria which clearly specify what counts as praxis. Just as one would

in Beyond hegemony