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Presentation on theme: "PARTY GOVERNMENT II PARTY FAMILIES Reading: Hay and Menon CH 12."— Presentation transcript:


2 Announcements  Bale and Kitschelt are assigned for this week  We will discuss them in class during the unit on party system change  If you have time, skim them now  If not, skim them when we get to the discussion of party system change  Policy memos for unit one are due Monday

3 Guiding Questions  What is party government?  What are political parties?  How do we classify political parties?  What are the familles spirituelles referred to in studies of political parties?

4  Political science suggests that political parties play a central role in promoting and maintaining democracy.  Schattschneider 1942  “modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of political parties”  Muller and Strom 1999  In a democracy, voters delegate policy-making authority to representatives via political parties. Political Parties and Government

5  We can conceive of democracy as “party government”  Particularly the case in parliamentary systems  Confidence vote  Katz 1986; Katz 1987  1) Parties organize policy-making  Government decisions made by party leaders.  Government policy decided within political parties.  Parties act cohesively to enact policy.  2) Parties serve as intermediaries between voters and government.  Elections seen as mechanisms to ensure party accountability.  3) Parties recruit political leadership.  Most elected officials are affiliated with a party. What Is Party Government?

6 What Are Political Parties?  Ware 1996  Political parties:  1) seek influence in a state often by attempting to occupy positions in government  2) usually consist of more than a single interest in society and to some degree attempt to ‘aggregate interests’

7 Political Parties vs. Interest Groups  Interest groups  1) primarily interested in advancing a single interest or set of interests within a polity.  2) organized outside of the state; seek to influence governments but generally. do not put forth candidates for office.  Both political parties and interest groups are involved in interest articulation (expressing citizen wants and needs).  Only political parties are interested in interest aggregation (combining citizen wants/needs to create coherent policy).

8 Why Parties?  The formation of what we consider modern political parties can be linked to:  1) Growing autonomy of parliaments.  Political elites had to ensure that political decisions could be reached.  2) Expansion of suffrage.  Political elites had to appeal to the masses as the suffrage expands; new types of parties emerge to appeal to new voters.  3) Avenues to political power.  Political elites saw a value in creating political parties as a way to wield political power.

9 Classifying Parties: Familles Spirituelles  A party’s ideology bases strongly shapes their policy positions.  Regardless of whether or not parties view policy goals strategically or sincerely.  Party “type” is often linked to a party’s stated ideology.  von Beyme 1985  Examines ideological roots of parties rather than position along the ideological spectrum.  Identifies party groups in order of their ideological emergence.  Identifies nine party families (familles spirituelles) in the European context.  Laver and Hunt 1992  Measures ideology on two scales: stance on public ownership (left-right) and stance on social issues.  Allows for comparison within and across party families.

10 Liberal/Radical Parties  Developed in the late 19 th century.  Formed by bourgeoisie to protect interests against landowners who controlled the state.  Wanted to remove state restrictions on means of production and promote a separation of state and society.  Often favored extension of the franchise (especially Radical parties).  Center-left on social issues (7.9), right on economics (15.3).  Electoral appeal: middle classes, business owners

11 Conservative Parties  Opposed extension of the franchise in response to Liberal/Radical parties.  Historically opposed to social change.  Focus on national honor; paternalistic view of society.  Right on economics (15.8), right on social policies (12.2).  New Right issues have changed some of these appeals particularly in terms of the market.  Many modern conservative parties take a very free market approach to the economy.  Electoral appeal: middle and upper classes.

12 Socialist/Social Democratic Parties  Formed as working classes organized.  Sought the extension of the franchise and public ownership of the means of production.  Modern variants accept the free market.  Seek a social safety net to protect those affected by globalization  Movement split after WW1 as communist parties formed.  Affirmed support for liberal democratic institutions following WWII.  Ideological placement: Economic 8.2, Social 6.3  Electoral appeals: Working and lower middle classes

13 Christian Democratic Parties  Formed by Catholic groups in response to secularism.  Organized to compete against socialist parties.  Gained momentum after WWII.  Right of center on social issues (15.5), more centrist on economics (13.9)  Favors a more active role for government in the economy than conservative parties.  Shift towards the right in recent years on economic issues.  Electoral appeal: Catholic workers, middle classes

14 Communist Parties  Took direction from Moscow until the collapse of the USSR.  Collapse of the USSR has resulted in a change in name and ideology of many of these parties.  Favored public ownership (3.1) and permissive social policy (4.8).  But also accepted democratic institutions both during and after the Cold War.  Many have transformed into credible social democratic parties  Example: PDS in Germany, PCI in Italy  Other movements associated with the far left are shifting towards anti-capitalist appeals  Example: NPA in France  Electoral appeal: youth, unemployed, working classes.

15 Agrarian Parties  Small farming and peasant based parties formed in response to industrialization.  Mainly formed in Scandinavia and Eastern European countries.  Generally right of center on both economic and social issues, but usually absorbed by other parties of the right.  Changes in political orientation make it difficult to classify them as a group.  Electoral appeals: agricultural interests, middle classes.

16 Regional/Ethnic Parties  Represent regional or ethnic minority groups within societies.  A presence since the 1960’s where movements are not absorbed by larger parties.  Many merge nationalism (generally associated with the right), with center left stances on economic and social policy.  Difficult to classify on the left-right spectrum.  Electoral appeals: nationalists.

17 Extreme Right Parties  Generally associated with anti-immigrant, extreme nationalist, anti-government and anti-tax philosophies. (Economic 18.5, Social 19)  Right of center on both social and economic policies.  Many have roots in fascism (authoritarian state to protect national ideals).  Although modern far right parties are generally not anti system parties (change from the interwar era);  Anti-Islamic appeals have boosted their vote totals in recent elections.  Stance typically means they are not invited to join coalitions. Although this appears to be changing  Electoral appeals: working classes

18 Ecological/Green Parties  Newest party family.  Associated with post-materialist concerns (e.g. environment and quality of life issues).  Favor government intervention and international cooperation on ecological issues placing it on the left in terms of economic policy.  Center left on economic issues (8.0) and the most permissive on social issues (4.2).  Electoral appeals: youth, gay/lesbian voters, middle and upper middle classes

19 Party Family Positions Compared ECONOMIC POLICY  Communists 3.1  Greens 8.0  Socialists 8.2  Christian Dem 13.9  Liberals 15.3  Conservatives 15.8  Extreme Right 18.5 SOCIAL POLICY  Greens 4.2  Communists 4.8  Socialists 6.3  Liberals 7.9  Conservatives 12.2  Christian Dem 15.5  Extreme Right 19.0

20 Applicability outside of Europe: The Strange Case of the United States?  Aspects of both parties make classification difficult.  Broad tent rather than explicitly ideological parties.  Generally classified as liberal parties although they emphasize different strands of liberalism.  The terms “conservative” and “liberal” have taken on a different meaning in the US context.  US Democrats slightly outside the mainstream of European center left parties on economic issues.  US Republicans outside the mainstream of European liberal parties on social issues.

21 Conclusions  Concept of party families works well for many systems, not so well in others.  Every system has a social democratic/socialist party.  Every system has EITHER a conservative or a Christian Democratic party.  No system has both.  Most systems have liberal and green party families represented.  Although their strength varies  Far right parties have been growing in strength.  Weaker resolve on keeping them out of office by parties of the right.

22 Next Lecture  Political Parties and Party Systems: Competition  Readings: Sartori PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO: 1) Party system fragmentation 2) Party system polarization 3) Polarized pluralism

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