Party Competition between Unequals: Strategies and Electoral Fortunes in Western Europe (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)

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9780521887656: Party Competition between Unequals: Strategies and Electoral Fortunes in Western Europe (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)

Why do some political parties flourish, while others flounder? In this book, Meguid examines variation in the electoral trajectories of the new set of single-issue parties: green, radical right, and ethnoterritorial parties. Instead of being dictated by electoral institutions or the socioeconomic climate, as the dominant theories contend, the fortunes of these niche parties, she argues, are shaped by the strategic responses of mainstream parties. She advances a new theory of party competition in which mainstream parties facing unequal competitors have access to a wider and more effective set of strategies than posited by standard spatial models. Combining statistical analyzes with in-depth case studies from Western Europe, the book explores how and why established parties undermine niche parties or turn them into weapons against their mainstream party opponents. This study of competition between unequals thus provides broader insights into the nature and outcome of competition between political equals.

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Book Description:

Why do some political parties flourish, while others flounder? Meguid argues that the fortunes of green, radical right and ethnoterritorial parties are shaped by the strategies of mainstream parties. She explores how and why established parties undermine these niche parties or turn them into weapons against their mainstream party opponents.

About the Author:

Bonnie Meguid is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. Her research on party competition has been published in The American Political Science Review. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Krupp Foundation, and her doctoral dissertation was awarded the Samuel H. Beer Prize for Best Ph.D. Dissertation on British Politics by the British Politics Group.

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