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ISBN:
9781785521492 9781786606396 9781786613141
Type:
Hardback
Epub
Paperback
Publication Date: 15 April 2016
Page Extent: 346
Series: Studies in European Political Science
Buy Hardback from AmazonBuy Paperback from Amazon

Absorbing the Blow

Populist Parties and their Impact on Parties and Party Systems

By Steven Wolinetz, Andrej Zaslove

The significance of populist parties and their presence in party systems is undeniable. Parties like the Dutch Freedom Party, the French National Front, and the Five Star Movement in Italy rank among the largest political parties in their party systems.

Absorbing the Blow examines the effect of populist parties on eleven European party systems. The results are mixed. The book finds that impact often depends on the influence that populist parties have had on mainstream political parties -- those that hitherto dominated party competition. In some instances, populist parties reinforce existing patterns of competition and government formation. Party systems that were bipolar continue to be bipolar. In others change occurs, either because populist parties make it difficult for mainstream parties to form coalitions that were hitherto possible, or because their presence allows mainstream parties to form coalitions that were not previously conceivable.

This collection seeks to analyse the way in which mainstream parties absorb the blow of populist party activity, and concludes that populist parties are one of several factors contributing to changes in party systems.

In sum, this book provides well-crafted historical and analytical insights on the role of populist parties in European party systems. It is an essential source for students of populism, especially for those who are interested in the consequences of populism. Its rich description of different cases makes this edited volume valuable reading for teaching populism-related, country-specific or region-specific content and the evolution of political systems in Europe. --

Wolinetz and Zaslove's volume not only represents an important contribution to our understanding of the impact of populism on European party systems, but it is also a highly illustrative, up-to-date introduction to the contemporary politics of many European countries for scholars of comparative politics and populism, as well as for a broader audience, including students, policymakers and journalists. --

This is a timely book. As the editors point out in their introduction, populists are now the single most successful post-war political family. Written by renowned experts, the country chapters cover a good cross-section of relevant European party systems and show that populist parties represent one of several factors that reshape party systems. -- Thomas Poguntke

This set of sophisticated case studies provides the basis for a wide-ranging comparative analysis that asks how the rise of populist parties is changing European party systems. The record shows that by reshaping the competition for votes, and the competition for government, populist parties have been the midwives of competitive processes working to transform the continent's party systems and democratic politics. -- R. Kenneth Carty

Steven B. Wolinetz is Professor Emeritus at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. Wolinetz writes about parties and party systems, smaller democracies (especially the Netherlands and Belgium, and the European Union). His publications include Parties and Party Systems in Liberal Democracies (1988), ‘Beyond the Catch-all Party: Approaches to the Study of Parties and Party Organization in Contemporary Democracies,’ in Linz, Montero, and Gunther, The Future of Political Parties, ‘The Transformation of Western European Party Systems Revisited’ and other articles on parties and party systems. He is currently working on a book, Parties and Party Systems in the New Millennium.


Andrej Zaslove’s research interest and published work focuses on populism, political parties and immigration. He publishes on populism in Italy, on populism and foreign policy, gender, and measuring populist attitudes at the individual level. Dr Zaslove is currently involved in several projects that research measuring populist attitudes, on comparing left and right populists, and on party competition and immigration policy. His publications can be found in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, European Political Science Review, Democratization, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Patterns of Prejudice.

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