• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This essential new book brings together world class scholars to provide a completely new comparative politics text. It offers a comprehensive reivew of the complete democratic process and provides a framework for measuring and evaluating contemporary democracy and democratic performance around the world.

Voters, Elections and Ideology in European Democracies
Voters, elections and ideology in european democracies
PaulPennings
Introduction

Two central concepts which structure the behaviour of parties and voters are ideology and institutions.

Ideology can be defined as a relatively stable body of assumptions about the world which produces plausible reasons for public action (Budge, 1994). In fact, this type of ideology often takes the form of a plan or programme which is part of a famille spirituelle (von Beyme, 1985). Ideology in this sense is not static, but it may evolve over time (for example the evolution of Marxism into several ideological streams like Socialism and Social Democracy, or Liberalism into a progressive and conservative type).

Institutions are the rules which structure the behavioural pattern of the actors involved (Shepsle, 1997). ...

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