Representation and party politics is one of the core themes of the comparative study of politics. What function do parties serve? What is the essential relationship between people and parties? Are parties simply a way of reproducing a political elite that rules and governs? These are some of the questions Graham asks in his analysis of our understandings of political parties, their internal structures and external relations. While surveying a rich literature on parties and party systems, emphasising the continuing relevance of earlier writings, the authors sets out the main problems that should be addressed in the study of plitical parties. We are then lucidly led through a range of empirical cases illustrating party performance in relation to electoral behaviour, and introduced to a range of theoretically-driven models of performance, behaviour and recruitment. The book culminates in a discussion of factionalism within parties, and an exploration of populism in mass politics. Graham's work introduces and reveals aspects of party dynamics and representation which should be essential to students of politics and political scientists alike.
B. D. Graham is Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex. He is particularly intersted in comparative politics and is currently researching into the group conflicts within the French Socialist Party. He has carried out research at different times in Australia, India and France.