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Bill Jones

The role of political parties Political parties are such familiar features of political life that we sometimes fail to appreciate the valuable roles they play in participative democracy. This is especially the case in a modern culture which tends to attribute only malign motives to politicians. In reality, parties are vital to our way of life, for reasons which include the following. Harmonising differing viewpoints Given that most sections of society seek to advance the interests of their group, there is a vast array of related viewpoints reflecting

in British politics today
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Duncan Watts

Chap 8 28/8/03 1:13 pm Page 178 Political parties 8 Political parties are organisations of broadly like-minded men and women which seek to win power in elections in order that they can then assume responsibility for controlling the apparatus of government. Unlike interest groups, which seek merely to influence the government, serious parties aims to secure the levers of power. In this chapter, we examine their relevance in Britain and America. The emphasis is on the competition between the two main parties in either country for the control of public offices

in Understanding US/UK government and politics
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Paolo Dardanelli

Political parties were the most important elite actors in the politics of Scottish self-government. Where parties stood on the spectrum of constitutional options, what perceptions they had of the European dimension and how they played their strategies are crucial factors in assessing their impact on the distribution of preferences at public opinion level. In this chapter I analyse such factors in relation to the Scottish National party (SNP), the Labour party and the Conservative party, the three main actors of the Scottish party system

in Between two Unions
Geoffrey K. Roberts

3 Political parties and electoral politics The role of political parties in electoral politics Elections in democracies are structured by political parties, are contests between parties and their candidates and result in a party or a coalition of parties assuming responsibility for government. In Germany, the novelty of parties possessing constitutional status emphasises this relationship between parties and elections. Their responsibility to ‘participate in the formation of the political will of the people’ – a bland and generalised statement of obligation

in German electoral politics
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Paolo Dardanelli

This chapter analyses the evidence that proves the European dimension was crucial to party competition on self-government from 1988 to 1997. It determines that the political parties clearly identified a number of connections between the European Union and the issue of self-government for Scotland. This led to the adoption of a European dimension into their positions on self-government. It shows that the SNP served as the key actor in this dynamic, since it was the party that utilised the European Union to its fullest and effectively opened an additional dimension in the politics of self-government.

in Between two Unions
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Bernadette C. Hayes
Ian McAllister

Political parties reflect the societies within which they operate. Competition between parties – in pursuit of resources, power and, occasionally, prestige – is very much based on the competition that occurs between the different social groups that exist within a society. In the new European democracies of the 1920s, the contemporary party systems that emerged were

in Conflict to peace
Ian Connor

4 Refugees and political parties, 1945–50 Introduction Historians and political scientists have so far devoted little attention to the refugees’ impact on political life in the Western Occupation Zones of Germany. This is surprising since the newcomers undoubtedly represented an important factor in post-war West German politics simply by dint of their numerical strength. They made up some 16 per cent of the West German electorate at the first Bundestag Election held in August 1949, while in Schleswig-Holstein, the state most severely affected by the refugee

in Refugees and expellees in post-war Germany
Euro-nationalism, not Euroscepticism
Michael Holmes

Irish banks turned an escalating economic crisis into a political one as well. The political responses to the crisis revealed a growing ideological fault-line in Irish politics, one which had significant implications for how political parties engaged with European integration. This section examines how the parties responded to the crisis, looking at how they interpreted the cause of the crisis, how they responded in policy terms

in Ireland and the European Union
Isabelle Hertner

78 4 Principals, agents, and the delegation of power inside political parties This chapter sets out the principal–​agent framework of power delegation that will be applied to the Labour Party, Parti Socialiste (PS), and the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) in Chapters 5, 6, and 7. Over a hundred years ago, the German sociologist Robert Michels (1911) pioneered the study of centre-​left party organisations, with a focus on the SPD. He argued that, due to the growing membership size, members could no longer participate directly in the parties

in Centre-left parties and the European Union
Alan Convery

1 When and why do political parties change? This chapter sets out an analytical framework to compare the Scottish and Welsh Conservative parties. They are two branches of a statewide political party that confront the challenges of dealing with multi-level politics. This chapter considers what we know about change in political parties and places a particular emphasis on the factors that affect parties at the sub-state level. Taking Harmel and Janda’s (1994) model of national party change as its starting point, it outlines a framework to analyse sub-state party

in The territorial Conservative Party