SAGE Journal Articles
Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.
Abstract: Social democratic parties have changed their electoral appeals substantially to cater to new voter segments. This article examines social democracy’s fortunes in attracting new voters among the salaried middle class across different electoral systems. Previous research ignored the importance of electoral systems and was inconclusive as to whether social democratic parties succeeded in mobilizing new constituencies. I argue that electoral systems play a crucial role since proportional systems enhance the electoral competiveness of left-libertarian parties, social democracy’s most serious challengers among the salaried middle class. In contrast, majoritarian systems allow social democratic parties to gain a foothold among these voters as left-libertarians remain marginalized. Using ISSP data for 11 Western democracies, the findings demonstrate that social democratic parties were outperformed by their left-libertarian challengers among the salaried middle class under highly proportional systems, but not under majoritarian systems.
Abstract: We examine the origins of direct democracy in the American states and assess how direct democracy has affected American political parties. We find adoption of the most directly democratic forms of the initiative in states where Populist forces were strongest in the 1890s. Use of the initiative throughout the twentieth century led to more restrictive state legal environments for parties and was associated with weaker traditional party organizations. American parties have subsequently challenged restrictions placed on their organizations and on their ability to engage in campaigns. By the end of the twentieth century, American party organizations were visible actors in direct democracy campaigns, however their role is different from that of parties in Europe.