• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The benchmark First and Second Editions of Comparing Democracies represented essential guides to the global study of elections. Reflecting recent developments in the field, this timely new edition gives an indispensable state-of-the art review of the whole field from the world's leading international scholars. With a completely new thematic introduction which explores how democracy is built and sustained, thoroughly updated chapters (many of which are also new), the Third Edition provides a theoretical and comparative understanding of the major topics related to elections and introduces important work on key new areas. Comparing Democracies, Third Edition will remain a must-read for students and lecturers of elections and voting behavior, comparative politics, parties, and democracy.

Political Parties and Party Systems
Political parties and party systems
Susan E.Scarrow

This chapter examines variations among party systems in contemporary democracies, asking not only why such differences arise, but also how they may affect representation and governance. It begins with a brief discussion of differences between countries' individual parties, and then moves on to consider the origin and impact of party system differences.

Why Do Parties Form?

Today parties play a central role in almost all democratic governments, yet this role was an unanticipated–and in many cases unwanted–feature of popular government. Indeed, well into the early twentieth century some political thinkers portrayed parties and partisanship as threats to public welfare (Scarrow 2002). But neither warnings nor reforms deterred the rise of party-dominated politics. In one country after another, ...

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