Party Transformations in European Democracies

By André Krouwel

Subjects: Political Science, Political Parties
Paperback : 9781438444826, 451 pages, July 2013
Hardcover : 9781438444819, 451 pages, December 2012

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Table of contents

1. Party Models
2. Measuring Party Change
3. On the Origin of Species
4. Electoral Transformation of Parties
5. Ideological Transformation of Parties
6. Organizational Transformation of European Parties
7. Cartel Failure and Populist Success
Appendix 1. West European Political Parties Included in this Study
Appendix 2. Variable List
Appendix 3. New Parties in Europe

Examines existing models of political party transformation and tests them using data from fifteen European countries.


Political parties regularly change and adapt in response to ever-changing circumstances. Until now these changes have frequently prompted both scholars and the media to suggest a whole new type of political party, and over time the number of models and types has proliferated to the point of confusion, contradiction, and a loss of explanatory power. In this sophisticated yet accessible study, André Krouwel rejects this mélange of models as inadequate. He utilizes a wide range of data sources to analyze the ideological, organizational, and electoral change undergone by more than one hundred European parties in fifteen different countries, from Scandinavia to the Iberian Peninsula, between 1945 and 2010. The result is one of the most comprehensive empirically grounded studies to date of the genesis, development, and transformation of political parties in advanced democratic states.

André Krouwel is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


"This is an important contribution to the field of political science." — Portland Book Review