The Formation of National Party Systems Federalism and Party Competition in Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States

by Pradeep K. Chhibber, Ken Kollman

The Formation of National Party Systems Federalism and Party Competition in Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States Synopsis

Pradeep Chhibber and Ken Kollman rely on historical data spanning back to the eighteenth century from Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States to revise our understanding of why a country's party system consists of national or regional parties. They demonstrate that the party systems in these four countries have been shaped by the authority granted to different levels of government. Departing from the conventional focus on social divisions or electoral rules in determining whether a party system will consist of national or regional parties, they argue instead that national party systems emerge when economic and political power resides with the national government. Regional parties thrive when authority in a nation-state rests with provincial or state governments. The success of political parties therefore depends on which level of government voters credit for policy outcomes. National political parties win votes during periods when political and economic authority rests with the national government, and lose votes to regional and provincial parties when political or economic authority gravitates to lower levels of government. This is the first book to establish a link between federalism and the formation of national or regional party systems in a comparative context. It places contemporary party politics in the four examined countries in historical and comparative perspectives, and provides a compelling account of long-term changes in these countries. For example, the authors discover a surprising level of voting for minor parties in the United States before the 1930s. This calls into question the widespread notion that the United States has always had a two-party system. In fact, only recently has the two-party system become predominant.

The Formation of National Party Systems Federalism and Party Competition in Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States Press Reviews

Winner of the 2005 Leon D. Epstein Outstanding Book Award, Division of Political Organizations and Parties of the American Political Science Association Runner-Up for the 2005 Gregory Luebbert Book Award, Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association In this comprehensive book Pradeep Chhibber and Ken Kollman examine in detail and over long historical periods four countries that use the same electoral system but have had differing party systems, both comparatively and historically. Their central argument is that party systems are more aggregated, that is, more national ... where economic and political power rests with the national government. --Choice

Book Information

ISBN: 9780691119328
Publication date: 26th July 2004
Author: Pradeep K. Chhibber, Ken Kollman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 272 pages
Categories: Constitution: government & the state,

About Pradeep K. Chhibber, Ken Kollman

Pradeep Chhibber is Associate Professor of Political Science and Indo-American Community Chair in India Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Democracy without Associations (Michigan). Ken Kollman is Associate Professor of Political Science and Research Associate Professor in the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Outside Lobbying (Princeton).

More About Pradeep K. Chhibber, Ken Kollman

Share this book