It updates and radically extends Policy and Party Competition (1992), which established itself as a key mainstream data source for all political scientists exploring the policy positions of political parties.
This essential text is divided into three clear parts:
Part I introduces the study, themes and methodology
Part II deals in depth with the wide range of issues involved in estimating and analyzing the policy positions of key political actors.
Part III is the key data section that identifies key policy dimensions across the 47 countries, detailing their party positions and median legislators, and is complemented by graphical representations of each party system.
This book is an invaluable reference for all political scientists, particularly those interested in party policy and comparative politics.
Party Competition shows how agent-based modeling can be used to accurately reflect how political systems really work. It demonstrates that politicians who are satisfied with relatively modest vote shares often do better at winning votes than rivals who search ceaselessly for higher shares of the vote. It reveals that politicians who pay close attention to their personal preferences when setting party policy often have more success than opponents who focus solely on the preferences of voters, that some politicians have idiosyncratic "valence" advantages that enhance their electability--and much more.
The broad-ranging scope of the book introduces the theory at many levels of analysis, including: the private desires of individuals; the social context of how people fulfil their desires; and the problems of collective action. The discussion of these problems extends into the arena of politics, where the activities of `political entrepreneurs' or politicians and the formation of political parties and coalitions are addressed.