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Party System Change in Legislatures Worldwide: Moving Outside the Electoral Arena

Mershon, Carol, Shvetsova, Olga

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ISBN 10: 0521765838 / ISBN 13: 9780521765831
Published by Cambridge University Press, 2013
Used Condition: As New
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Party System Change in Legislatures ...

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Date: 2013

Book Condition:As New

About this title


In this book, Carol Mershon and Olga Shvetsova explore one of the central questions in democratic politics: How much autonomy do elected politicians have to shape and reshape the party system on their own, without the direct involvement of voters in elections? Mershon and Shvetsova's theory focuses on the choices of party membership made by legislators while serving in office. It identifies the inducements and impediments to legislators' changes of partisan affiliation, and integrates strategic and institutional approaches to the study of parties and party systems. With empirical analyses comparing nine countries that differ in electoral laws, territorial governance, and executive-legislative relations, Mershon and Shvetsova find that strategic incumbents have the capacity to reconfigure the party system as established in elections. Representatives are motivated to bring about change by opportunities arising during the parliamentary term, and are deterred from doing so by the elemental democratic practice of elections.

Book Description:

Most people think of political parties as operating in the electoral arena, and see party strengths as determined at elections. This book takes a different view, emphasizing the discretion that politicians have to change the party system while they serve in office. Outside the electoral arena, these officeholders can change their party membership, moving between parliamentary parties, thus introducing change to the party system without the direct involvement of voters. This book explains why, how, and under what conditions this process of change occurs.

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