Over the past three decades the effects of globalization and denationalization have created a division between 'winners' and 'losers' in Western Europe. This study examines the transformation of party political systems in six countries (Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK) using opinion surveys, as well as newly collected data on election campaigns. The authors argue that, as a result of structural transformations and the strategic repositioning of political parties, Europe has observed the emergence of a tripolar configuration of political power, comprising the left, the moderate right, and the new populist right. They suggest that, through an emphasis on cultural issues such as mass immigration and resistance to European integration, the traditional focus of political debate - the economy - has been downplayed or reinterpreted in terms of this new political cleavage. This new analysis of Western European politics will interest all students of European politics and political sociology.
Hanspeter Kriesi is Professor for Comparative Politics in the Institute of Political Science at the University of Zurich. Edgar Grande is Professor for Comparative Politics in the Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science at the University of Munich. Romain Lachat is a visiting scholar at the Department of Politics of New York University. Martin Dolezal is a researcher in the Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science at the University of Munich. Simon Bornscher is a researcher in the Institute of Political Science at the University of Zurich. Timotheos Frey is a researcher in the Institute of Political Science at the University of Zurich.
Part I. Theory and Methods: 1. Globalization and its impact on national spaces of competition; 2. Contexts of party mobilization; 3. The design of the study: the distinguishing characteristics of our approach; Part II. Country Studies: 4. France: the model case of party system transformation; 5. Austria: transformation driven by an established party; 6. Switzerland: another case of transformation driven by an established party; 7. The Netherlands: a challenge that was slow in coming; 8. The United Kingdom: moving parties in a stable configuration; 9. Germany: the dog that didn't bark; Part III. Comparative Analyses: 10. Demand side: dealignment and realignment of the structural political potentials; 11. Supply side: the positioning of the political parties in a restructuring space; 12. The electoral consequences of the integration-demarcation cleavage; 13. Globalizing West European politics: the change of cleavage structures, parties and party systems in comparative perspective; Appendix A. Technical appendix; Appendix B. Detailed statistical results.