Policy and Party Competition offers both a theoretical and empirical examination of the subject. The book opens with a theoretical discussion of the nature of political parties, policies and competition. Taking the view that the preferences of the electorate are the logical and ideological starting points of party competition, Laver and Hunt examine the structure of policy preferences, patterns in party systems, parameters of party competition and the role of party policy in government formation. In the second section, they present a unique data set of 24 parliamentary democracies. Party systems analysed include those of the US, Japan, Israel, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. The authors determine the degree of influence cast by theories of party competition on the actual practice of such competition. This is an important exploration of the methodological issues involved in the application of spatial models of party competition to the real world.
Policy and Party Competition