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From revolution to reform
David S. Bell

2 The French Communist Party: from revolution to reform David S. Bell The left The PCF: from revolution to reform Introduction Under the Fourth and Fifth Republics the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) was one of the most important forces in the shaping of the party system. This status only began to diminish in the 1980s with the victory of François Mitterrand in the presidential and legislative elections of 1981. Although the Communist Party is a shadow of its former self, the shape of the party system and its behaviour over the post-war period is explicable

in The French party system
Approaches to Labour politics and history

This book is an attempt to take stock of how some of the British Labour Party's leading interpreters have analysed their subject, deriving as they do from contrasting political, theoretical, disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. It explores their often-hidden assumptions and subjects them to critical evaluation. The book outlines five strategies such as materialist; ideational; electoral; institutional; and synthetic strategies. Materialist, ideational and electoral explanatory strategies account for Labour's ideological trajectory in factors exogenous to the party. The 'new political history' is useful in understanding Labour within a less reductive framework than either the 'high' or 'from below' approaches and in more novel terms than the Left-Right positions adopted within Labour. The book assesses the contribution made to analysis of the Labour Party and labour history by thinkers of the British New Left. New Left critiques of labourism in fact represented and continued a strand of Marxist thinking on the party that can be traced back to its inception. If Ralph Miliband's role in relation to 'Bennism' is considered in comparison to his earlier attitudes, some striking points emerge about the interaction between the analytical and subjective aspects in his interpretive framework. Miliband tried to suggest that the downfall of communism was advantageous for the Left, given the extent to which the Soviet regimes had long embarrassed Western socialists such as himself. The Nairn-Anderson theses represented an ambitious attempt to pioneer a distinctive analysis of British capitalist development, its state, society and class structure.

Open Access (free)

In 2002, the French party system seems to be demonstrating a fluidity, if not outright instability, equal to any period in the Fifth Republic's history. This book explores the extent to which this represents outright change and shifts within a stable structure. Portrayals of French political culture point to incivisme, individualism and a distrust of organizations. The book focuses on three fundamental political issues such as 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which appear in almost all political discussions and conflicts. It identifies different 'types' of state in political theory and looks at the major challenges to practical state sovereignty in the modern world. Discussing the concept of the nation in the United Kingdom, the book identifies both cultural and political aspects of nationhood. These include nation and state; race and nation; language and the nation; religion and national identity; government and nation; common historical and cultural ties; and a sense of 'nationhood'. Liberal democracy, defensive democracy and citizen democracy/republican democracy are explained. The book also analyses John Stuart Mill's and Isaiah Berlin's views on 'negative' and 'positive' freedom. Conservatism is one of the major intellectual and political strains of thought in Western culture. Liberalism has become the dominant ideology in the third millennium. Socialism sprang from the industrial revolution and the experience of the class that was its product, the working class. Events have made 'fascism' a term of political abuse rather than one of serious ideological analysis. Environmentalism and ecologism constitute one of the most recent ideological movements.

Ben Clift

3 PS intra-party politics and party system change Ben Clift The left PS intra-party politics and party system change Introduction Approaches to the study of party system change tend to emphasise, on the one hand, broad electoral trends, such as disaffection with ‘governmental’ political parties, or increasing electoral volatility and, on the other, institutional developments, such as changes to voting systems. Such ‘macro’-level analysis can at times treat parties as unitary actors, possessed of one ‘response’ to their changing environment, an approach which

in The French party system
Jocelyn A. J. Evans

10 Europe and the French party system Jocelyn A. J. Evans System context Europe and the French party system Introduction Since the advent of European Community/European Union politics and the growing influence the supranational arena has over domestic affairs, the potential for the European domain to impinge upon all aspects of national polities has grown. On the face of it, there has been no reason to suspect that European politics would not affect the party systems of these polities in the same way that it has affected, say, policy-making, judicial review

in The French party system
From Parliamentary Socialism to ‘Bennism’
Michael Newman

ITLP_C04.QXD 18/8/03 9:57 am Page 57 4 Ralph Miliband and the Labour Party: from Parliamentary Socialism to ‘Bennism’ Michael Newman Ralph Miliband completed Parliamentary Socialism at the end of 1960 and it was published in October 1961. This proved to be probably the most influential book on the Labour Party written during the post-war era – possibly the most significant of any period. As chapter 5 will confirm, the book helped shape a whole school of left-wing interpretations of the party (Coates 2002; Panitch and Leys 1997) and established an analytical

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Eric Shaw

ITLP_C11.QXD 18/8/03 10:02 am Page 166 11 Lewis Minkin and the party–unions link Eric Shaw ‘For over 80 years’, Minkin declares in his magisterial survey The Contentious Alliance (1991: xii), the Labour Party–trade unions link ‘has shaped the structure and, in various ways, the character of the British Left’. His core proposition can be encapsulated simply: trade union ‘restraint has been the central characteristic’ of the link (1991: 26). This constitutes a frontal challenge to received wisdom – endlessly repeated, recycled and amplified by Britain’s media

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Contextual, analytical and theoretical issues
Colin Hay

ITLP_C12.QXD 18/8/03 10:02 am Page 182 12 How to study the Labour Party: contextual, analytical and theoretical issues Colin Hay The political analysis and the political economy of the British Labour Party have tended to concern themselves principally with the concrete and the substantive. This is both unremarkable and entirely legitimate. Yet something is potentially lost. For while an aim of the present collection is to discuss the principal positions of some of the leading exponents in this literature, it cannot be doubted that the literature rests

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Alistair Cole

1 Stress, strain and stability in the French party system Alistair Cole The French party system Stress and stability Introduction Political parties do not find a natural breeding ground in France. Portrayals of French political culture point to incivisme, individualism and a distrust of organisations (Crozier, 1970, Pitts, 1981, Gaffney and Kolinsky, 1991). Though these representations are overly impressionistic, a powerful strand of French republicanism has denigrated political parties as divisive, fractious organisations. This is best exemplified by the

in The French party system
Andrew Knapp

8 From the Gaullist movement to the president’s party Andrew Knapp The right From the Gaullist movement to the president’s party Introduction Most major European countries are content with just one major party of the centre-right: Britain’s Conservatives, Spain’s PPE, Germany’s CDU–CSU. France has always had at least two. The electoral cycle of April–June 2002, however, held out the prospect of change by transforming the fortunes of France’s centre-right in two ways. A double victory at the presidential and parliamentary elections kept Jacques Chirac in the

in The French party system