Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-hfldf Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-24T05:26:14.166Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

2 - POSITION, SALIENCE, AND OWNERSHIP: A STRATEGIC THEORY OF NICHE PARTY SUCCESS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 July 2009

Bonnie M. Meguid
Affiliation:
University of Rochester, New York
Get access

Summary

The varied electoral success of green, radical right, and ethnoterritorial parties across Western Europe is the result of mainstream party strategies. This is the thesis introduced in Chapter 1. Contrary to the dominant literature, I argue that the electoral trajectories of niche parties are not mere reflections of the institutional or sociological characteristics of a country. These successes and failures are rather the result of deliberate attempts by center-left and center-right political actors to quell new political threats and bolster their own electoral competitiveness. Niche party fortunes are, in many respects, the by-products of competition between mainstream parties.

And yet existing strategic theories of party competition prove ill-suited for understanding the nature of interaction between mainstream parties and their neophyte competitors. Unlike their mainstream party opponents, niche parties refuse to compete within the given policy dimensions, instead promoting and competing on new issues that often cut across existing partisan lines. Consequently, mainstream party reactions are not limited to the standard spatial tools of policy convergence and divergence – i.e., movement toward and away from a competitor – on an established issue dimension. Rather, mainstream parties can also alter niche party electoral support by manipulating the salience and ownership of the neophyte's new issue for political competition.

In this chapter, I challenge the standard spatial approach to party interaction by developing a theory of party competition based on this expanded conception of party strategies.

Type
Chapter
Information
Party Competition between Unequals
Strategies and Electoral Fortunes in Western Europe
, pp. 22 - 40
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×