Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-jqctd Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-04T09:49:25.937Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

7 - Party Alignments: Change and Continuity

from Part II - Politics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2015

Herbert Kitschelt
Affiliation:
Duke University
Pablo Beramendi
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Silja Häusermann
Affiliation:
Universität Zürich
Herbert Kitschelt
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Hanspeter Kriesi
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
Get access

Summary

Changes in the occupational structure and political economy of advanced capitalism, explained in Daniel Oesch's chapter in this volume, and related shifts in the formation of political mass preferences, examined by Silja Häusermann and Hanspeter Kriesi in the subsequent chapter, are consequential for political partisan alignments, the subject of this chapter. As previously small occupational groups with distinct political preference profiles gained numerical weight in the electorate, particularly highly educated sociocultural professionals, established party families saw their vote shares decline, unless they modified their programmatic appeals. Established parties with new strategies or new party creations went on to capture novel voter coalitions, a process that has played out in cross-nationally diverse ways.

Shifts in electoral partisan coalitions coincided with (1) a steep decline in party membership; (2) a moderate to sharp increase in electoral volatility signaling the availability of more voters to competing party appeals; (3) a decline in voter turnout, as people no longer acted simply on parental party identifications or associational ties; and (4) a corresponding rise of nonpartisan social movements and interest groups. At least three rival theoretical arguments have claimed to make sense of party system change in postindustrial democracies, all consistent with these basic facts: the postindustrial realignment; the postindustrial dealignment; and the cartel party detachment perspectives. Examining empirical trends over time and cross-national variance among party systems, we conclude that a political realignment perspective explains observable patterns best.

Three Perspectives on Postindustrial Political Alignments

The disagreements on political alignments concern facts about the nature of citizen-politician linkages and causal mechanisms that produce them in postindustrial democracies. There are three prominent perspectives on this topic:

  1. • Postindustrial Realignment (PiR): Voters continue to coalesce around parties on the basis of durable socioeconomic interests and policy preferences, but since political-economic postindustrialization, highlighted by changing occupational profiles, has changed the distribution of preferences, established parties have been compelled to alter their appeals or tolerate the electoral success of new parties that represent voter preferences ignored by established alternatives.

  2. […]

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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
×