Holding Their Own: Explaining the Persistence of Green Parties in France and the UK
In his seminal work, Kirchheimer (1966) argued that as larger parties transformed into catch-all parties we would see the disappearance of small parties. We know, however, that Green parties are one example of small parties that have persisted in many European party systems. In this article, I seek to explain this inconsistency. I argue that Kirchheimer did not anticipate the development and growth of the New Politics agenda or of Green parties. These parties, moreover, have endured because of their desire to gain electoral representation and maintain their distinct policy positions. To test this argument, I examine the electoral strategies and policy preferences of the British and French Green parties over the past decade. The results confirm my hypotheses. The findings not only update Kirchheimer’s theory, but also have important implications for our understanding of Green party behaviour and potential for longevity more generally.
Jae-Jae M. Spoon. "Holding Their Own: Explaining the Persistence of Green Parties in France and the UK" Party Politics 15.5 (2009): 615-634.
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