• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book takes a close look inside political parties, bringing together the findings of an international team of leading scholars. Building on a unique set of cross-national data on party organizations, the contributors set out to explain how parties organize, how they have changed and how they have adapted to the changing political and organizational circumstances in which they find themselves. The contributors are recognized authorities on the party systems of their countries, and have all been involved in gathering data on party membership, party finance and the internal structure of power. They add to the analysis of these original data an expert knowledge of the wider political patterns in their countries, and thus p

Ireland: Centralization, Professionalization and Competitive Pressures
Ireland: Centralization, professionalization and competitive pressures
David M.Farrell1

Irish electoral politics has changed dramatically over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, the Irish case could be summarized under three main headings. First, it was a two-and-a-half party system. Second, the dominant – if not predominant – party in this system was always Fianna Fáil, with electoral competition being structured around the opposition between Fianna Fáil and ‘the rest’ (that is, Fine Gael and Labour). Third, the system was inherently very stable, with governments tending to last for three- to four-year terms (including two periods when Fianna Fáil was in power for sixteen consecutive years, from 1932 to 1948 and then again from 1957 to 1973).

None of these points now apply ...

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