How have Europe's mainstream political parties responded to the long-term decline in voter loyalties? What are the consequences of this change in the electoral markets in which parties now operate? Popular disengagement, disaffection, and withdrawal on the one hand, and increasing popular support for protest parties on the other, have become the hallmarks of modern European politics. This book provides an excellent account of how political parties in Western Europe are perceiving and are responding to these contemporary challenges of electoral dealignment. Each chapter employs a common format to present and compare the changing strategies of established parties and party systems in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Ireland. The result is an invaluable portrait of the changing electoral environment and how parties are interacting with each another and voters today. Political Parties and Electoral Change is essential reading for anybody seeking a deeper understanding of contemporary electoral politics and of the challenges facing west European party systems. Peter Mair is Professor of Comparative Politics at Leiden University. Wolfgang C. M ller is Professor of Political Science at the University of Mannheim and previously taught at the University of Vienna. Fritz Plasser is Professor of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck.

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