Party Transformations in European Democracies4stars

 

 

Why Political Parties Change Over Time.

By Andre Krouwel

SUNY Press, $85.00, 437 pages

How quickly do political parties evolve over time? How do political parties evolve? And what drives political parties to evolve? In this book, Professor Krouwel explores the world of European political parties, the contexts that surrounded them coming into power, how they maintained power, and how they have evolved in the latter half of the 20th Century and first part of the 21st Century. The first part of the book covers the different models of party formation, the different party models, and the different theories as to why parties change over time. The other half of the book explores each of these different ideas in detail. In a longitudinal study across countries, time, and regions; each chapter covers a major theme and is then broken up. Each region of Europe is then broken up into their constituent countries.  In the end, Krouwel makes the argument that European parties are moving towards a model of cartel; that the parties are representing less and less of the people and concentrating more on taking advantage of using state resources. ||The strength of this work is also its weakness. While talking about each country, it gets repetitive and a little long winded; but the detail is important to support Professors Krouwel major arguments. This is an important contribution to the field of political science.

Reviewed by Kevin Winter

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