Transnational party federations (TNPs) have been critical prisms through which to analyse the EU’s tensions between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. This study focuses on the radical left TNP, the European Left Party (EL), founded in 2004. It centres on four general questions: first; the conditions under which TNPs might be successful; second, how the EL compares with other TNPs, particularly those of the broad centre-left, the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the European Green Party (EGP); third, to what extent the EL has fostered a consensus over positions towards the EU previously conspicuously lacking among the radical left; and fourth, the degree to which the EL has enabled an increase in the electoral or policy influence of the radical left in Europe. The study highlights the strengths and weaknesses of TNPs as networks of Europeanisation; they have important roles in the EU political system but remain timid actors with only selectively developed transnationalism. It shows how the EL is a paradoxical actor; on the one hand it has brought radical left transnational co-operation to historical highs; on the other it is both less influential than the PES and less transnational and consolidated than the EGP. Such paradoxes result from persistent internal divisions between Europeanists and sovereigntists, as well as suboptimal internal structures. The influence of the EL is also paradoxical. It has emerged as a centre of attraction for the European radical left promoting the Left Europeanist position, but is a long way from being hegemonic or unchallenged on the left.

Devolution and party change in Scotland and Wales

This book is the first detailed examination of the Conservative Party beyond the centre after devolution. The Scottish and Welsh Conservative Parties both started out in 1999 with no MPs and a difficult inheritance. They had also both stridently campaigned against devolution. However, since then, the smaller and less autonomous Welsh Conservative Party appears to have staged a recovery, whilst its Scottish counterpart has continued to struggle. This book traces the processes of party change in both parties and explains why the Welsh Conservatives unexpectedly embraced devolution while the Scottish Conservatives took much longer to accept that Westminster was no longer the priority. In considering the drivers of party change at the sub-state level, this book finds that electoral defeat and organisational autonomy mattered less here than we might expect. Although the Welsh Conservatives had less power and money, they also entered the Welsh Assembly with less baggage than the Scottish Conservatives. Renewing unionism was more difficult in Scotland because the Scottish Conservatives could see no route to holding power.

Power, accountability and democracy

Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of intra-party democracy? This book is about improving our understanding of political parties as democratic organisations in the context of multi-level governance. It analyses the impact of European Union (EU) membership on power dynamics, focusing on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party (PS), and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The purpose of this book is to investigate who within the three parties determines EU policies and selects EU specialists, such as the candidates for European parliamentary elections and EU spokespersons.

The book utilises a principal-agent framework to investigate the delegation of power inside the three parties across multiple levels and faces. It draws on over 65 original interviews with EU experts from the three national parties and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and an e-mail questionnaire. This book reveals that European policy has largely remained in the hands of the party leadership. Its findings suggest that the party grassroots are interested in EU affairs, but that interest rarely translates into influence, as information asymmetry between the grassroots and the party leadership makes it very difficult for local activists to scrutinise elected politicians and to come up with their own policy proposals. As regards the selection of EU specialists, such as candidates for the European parliamentary elections, this book highlights that the parties’ processes are highly political, often informal, and in some cases, undemocratic.

From revolution to reform

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.

Statewide context

2 The UK Conservative Party: statewide context This chapter explores the relationship between the statewide Conservative Party and Scotland and Wales. The post-1997 Conservative Party famously took a long time to realise the extent it would have to change in order to regain office (Norris and Lovenduski, 2004; Bale, 2010; Snowdon, 2010). Before going on to examine the territorial Conservative Party in detail, we will consider the wider UK context for the changes that occurred at the sub-state level. The Scottish and Welsh Conservative parties may have been

in The territorial Conservative Party
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.

4 Devolution, party change and the Welsh Conservative Party We have parked our tanks on the nationalists’ lawns in a sense. (Interview with Conservative AM 3, 1 March 2012) Introduction This chapter applies the analytical framework outlined in Chapter 2 to the Welsh Conservative Party. It finds that the Welsh Conservatives faced similar challenges to the Scottish Conservatives in adapting to devolution. It is arguable that initially the Scottish Conservatives adapted much better to the transition from the referendum to the new institutions. However, the

in The territorial Conservative Party

3 Devolution, party change and the Scottish Conservative Party Conservatism has played a long and historic role in Scottish politics and the Tory Party has deep roots in Scotland. However, many people do not realise this. (Margaret Thatcher, Foreword to The Scottish Tory Party: A History by Gerald Warner, 1988: i) Author: Would it be fair to say that the party has never really got over the 1997 referendum result? Conservative MSP: I think it is gradually getting over the referendum result. (Interview with Conservative MSP 8, 2 October 2012) Having established

in The territorial Conservative Party

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