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Cartelisation, Convergence or Increasing Similarities?

Cartelisation, Convergence or Increasing Similarities?

Henrik Enroth | Magnus Hagevi


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It is often suggested that political parties are becoming increasingly alike, and that party politics has turned into an elite affair where political professionals collude to further their self-interest rather than work to represent the interests of their constituents. In recent decades this diagnosis has been famously associated with Richard Katz and Peter Mair’s cartel party theory. Yet so far this controversial thesis has not been subjected to systematic empirical scrutiny, nor has its conceptual and normative underpinnings been properly considered. In this volume a group of political scientists with different specialisations take on this task, focusing empirically on the Swedish party system, which the originators of the cartel party theory have suggested is especially conducive to the formation of party cartels. Collecting new and unique qualitative and quantitative data, the volume casts serious doubt on the validity of the cartel party theory as an explanation for party system change.
The cartel thesis has been remarkably influential. In over two decades, reference to it has been almost obligatory in published research on party politics. Enroth and Hagevi's excellent anthology unpacks the thesis and subjects it to thorough and rare empirical tests. The admirably clear conclusions about representative democracy in a crucial case – Sweden – leave party scholars with much to ponder.
Nicholas Aylott, Södertörn University
A forceful attack on the cartel party theory. The authors make efficient use of their Swedish case study for questioning many of the core assumptions and normative judgements of the most influential account in contemporary party research.
Klaus Detterbeck, Political Scientist, University of Göttingen, Germany
Henrik Enroth is Associate Professor at Linnaeus University, with a broad interest in social and political theory. Recently his work has appeared in journals such as Party Politics, Contemporary Political Theory, Governance, European Journal of Social Theory, and Transnational Legal Theory.

Magnus Hagevi is Associate Professor in political science and the leader of Surveyinstitutet at Linnaeus University, Sweden,

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
Cartelisation,Convergence or Increasing Similarities? i
Cartelisation,Convergence or Increasing Similarities? Lessons from Parties in Parliament iii
Contents v
Acknowledgements vii
Parties and Abbreviations ix
Cartels and Competition: An Introduction 1
Notes 13
Chapter 1 15
Cartelisation in Sweden? 15
The Swedish Case 17
Contents of This Book 21
Notes 26
Chapter 2 27
On the Concept of a Cartel Party 27
Cartelisation and Collusion 29
Co-operation, Convergence and Depoliticisation 32
The Political Economy of the Cartel Party 34
The Cartel Concept Revisited: Conceptual Analysis Versus Conceptual History 37
Notes 41
Chapter 3 43
Are the Predictions of the Cartel Party Thesis Supported in the Swedish Case? 43
If the Cartel Party Thesis is Correct, What is to be Expected? 44
Testing the Four Hypotheses 46
Conclusion 66
Notes 69
Chapter 4 71
Professional Politicians as Representatives 71
Concept and Hypotheses 74
Data 80
The Extra-parliamentary Pool of Professional Politicians 81
The Pool of Party Members 83
Recruitment From the Pool of Professional Politicians 87
A Homogenous Swedish Parliament? 88
Conclusion 92
Appendix 94
Notes 96
Chapter 5 97
Cartelisation and Europeanisation? 97
The Concepts of Politicisation/Depoliticisation and the Cartel Party Theory 98
Data and Measures 101
Operationalising and Testing the Hypotheses 102
Findings 105
Conclusion 113
Appendix: Interviews with Swedish Members of Parliament 116
Notes 117
Chapter 6 119
Homogenisation or Fragmentation? 119
Mediatisation and Party Change: A Force for Homogenisation or Fragmentation? 121
Adaptation of Foreign Policy Content to Media Logic: Homogenisation or Fragmentation? 128
Adaptation of Foreign Policy Form to Media Logic: Homogenisation or Fragmentation? 132
Elite-level or Mid-level Adaptation by Parties: Homogenisation or Fragmentation? 135
Conclusion 137
Appendix 1. Interviews with Members of Parliament 139
Appendix 2. Interview questions 139
Notes 140
Chapter 7 143
Party Cartelisation or Gender Politicisation? 143
Previous Research 144
Theory 146
Empirical section 147
Conclusion 155
Notes 157
Chapter 8 159
Party Culture and Cartelisation 159
Theoretical Considerations 161
Analytical Framework 164
Materials and methods 166
Party Organisational Cultures, 1998–2002 168
Party Organisational Cultures, 2012–2013 170
Conclusion 183
Appendix: Interviews and Interviewees 185
Notes 187
Chapter 9 189
Democracy and the Cartel Party 189
The ‘Party Government’ and ‘Consensus’ Models 191
The Cartel Party and Models of Democracy 195
Is Elite Co-operation a Bad Thing? 199
Note 203
Chapter 10 205
Conclusions 205
Absence of Causal Relationships 206
Alternative Explanations 208
Policy Polarisation and Conflict 213
Note 214
References 215
Index 237
About the Contributors 245