In from the cold? Left parties and government involvement since 1989

Bale, Tim and Dunphy, Richard (2011) In from the cold? Left parties and government involvement since 1989. Comparative European Politics, 9 (3). pp. 269-291. ISSN 1472-4790

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Radical left parties – particularly their involvement in government either as full coalition partners or support parties to minority social democratic administrations – have not received as much attention as their counterparts on the far right of the political spectrum or, indeed, the Greens. This interview-based study, which focuses on the calculations made by left parties with a chance of getting involved in governing, suggests that this needs to change. It argues that, whatever the origins of these left parties, such calculations can fruitfully be explored by characterising them – just as we have begun to characterise the calculations of Green and radical right parties – as the kind of trade-offs between policy, office and votes that more mainstream political actors have been making ever since democracy was established in Europe. Similarly, other factors that impact on the calculations made by radical left parties thinking about government are unlikely to be exclusive to them. They include a history of coalition building at the subnational level, the views of trade unions, personal relationships with other party leaders, and finally their reading of how government involvement has impacted on their counterparts in other countries.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Jointly authored with Richard Dunphy, University of Dundee
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Depositing User: Tim Bale
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:28
Last Modified: 11 May 2012 14:30
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