The failings of political parties: reality or perception?

Webb, Paul (2009) The failings of political parties: reality or perception? Representation, 45 (3). pp. 265-275. ISSN 0034-4893

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This article reflects on the current performance of political parties in the UK, using Alan Ware's conceptual distinction between democracy as a means of interest optimalisation, democracy as a way of fostering civic orientation among citizens, and democracy as a mechanism of popular choice and control of government. Seen from either of the first two perspectives, parties appear to be largely failing democracy, but they remain important mechanisms by which a significant degree of popular choice and control can be achieved. Even here, however, they are more challenged and less appreciated than was once the case, though this may reflect changes in popular perception more than a shift in the actual performance of parties. That being the case, it is not clear that institutional reforms which aim to improve party performance will necessarily achieve their goal.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: Paul Webb
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:50
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2012 12:34
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