Parties, Programs and Policies: A Comparative and Theoretical Perspective

Ian Budge
1994 American Review of Politics  
<span style="font-size: 100%; font-family: Arial; color: #000000;" data-sheets-value="{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:&quot;The feature of political parties which gives them their central role in democracies, and which also renders them such a fascinating object of study, is their presence at so many levels of our societies. They exist both among mass and elite, in electorates and in governments. In between, they group activists and local and State legislators, as well as affiliated bodies from
more » ... liated bodies from women\u2019s leagues to sports clubs, co-operatives to labor unions. This complexity, more or less evident in the different party families and across cultures, fulfill an essential representational purpose: no less diverse organization can claim to speak on behalf of society or the nation as the political party can. But it also makes parties difficult objects of research, particularly from an analytic and comparative point of view.&quot;}" data-sheets-userformat="{&quot;2&quot;:2111744,&quot;11&quot;:0,&quot;14&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0},&quot;15&quot;:&quot;arial,sans,sans-serif&quot;,&quot;16&quot;:10,&quot;24&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:3,&quot;3&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:3}}">The feature of political parties which gives them their central role in democracies, and which also renders them such a fascinating object of study, is their presence at so many levels of our societies. They exist both among mass and elite, in electorates and in governments. In between, they group activists and local and State legislators, as well as affiliated bodies from women's leagues to sports clubs, co-operatives to labor unions. This complexity, more or less evident in the different party families and across cultures, fulfill an essential representational purpose: no less diverse organization can claim to speak on behalf of society or the nation as the political party can. But it also makes parties difficult objects of research, particularly from an analytic and comparative point of view.</span>
doi:10.15763/issn.2374-7781.1993.14.0.695-716 fatcat:e2z242izdfecxop3eyewrsvrse