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Rich DemocraciesPolitical Economy, Public Policy, and Performance$
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Harold Wilensky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231764

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231764.001.0001

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Are Political Parties declining?

Are Political Parties declining?

An Analysis of National Variation in Dealignment

(p.398) 11 Are Political Parties declining?
Rich Democracies


University of California Press

This chapter addresses the party decline and analyzes the national variation in dealignment of political parties. It examines whether party decline is peculiarly American or a tendency common to all rich democracies and attempts to explain national variation in both the presence or absence of system erosion and the rate of change. It suggests that both tax-welfare backlash and party dealignment are indicators of a weakened capacity to govern, an erosion of political legitimacy.

Keywords:   party decline, dealignment, rich democracies, political parties, tax-welfare backlash, political legitimacy

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