Failing political representation or a change in kind? : models of representation and empirical trends in Europe

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Abstract

This article reviews Peter Mair’s argument on the failure of political parties and the subsequent failure of representative democracy in Europe. It develops a conceptual framework to test the validity of Mair’s argument against competing interpretations of the development of representative democracy. It identifies three ideal typical models of representative democracy that seem to have succeeded each other over time: cleavage-based democracy, competitive democracy, and audience democracy. The article proposes specific empirical hypotheses for political parties and voters in each of these periods and provides empirical evidence to test the validity of these hypotheses. It concludes with a discussion of the results, evaluating whether the changes that occurred indicate failure of representative democracy or rather the emergence of a different form of representative democracy. - See more at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/suppl/10.1080/01402382.2014.887881#tabModule
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-419
JournalWest European politics
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • IR-91310
  • METIS-303950

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