The sister volume to Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies, this book offers a systematic and rigorous analysis of parties in some of the world's major new democracies. Drawing on a wealth of expertise and data, the book assesses the popular legitimacy, organizational development and functional performance of political parties in Latin America and postcommunist Eastern Europe. It demonstrates the generational differences between parties in the old and new democracies, and reveals contrasts among the latter. Parties are shown to be at their most feeble in those recently transitional democracies characterized by personalistic, candidate-centred forms of politics, but in other new democracies - especially those with parliamentary systems - parties are more stable and institutionalized, enabling them to facilitate a meaningful degree of popular choice and control. Wherever party politics is weakly institutionalized, political inequality tends to be greater, commitment to pluralism less certain, clientelism and corruption more prounced, and populist demagoguery a greater temptation. Without party, democracy's hold is more tenuous. Comparative Politics is a series for scholars and students of political science that deals with contemporary issues in comparative government and politics. The General Editor is David M. Farrell, Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics and Head of School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester. The series is published in association with the European Consortium for Political Research.
Paul Webb is Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex. He is author or editor of numerous publications, including The Modern British Party System (Sage Publications, 2000), Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Societies (Oxford University Press, 2002, coedited) and The Presidentialization of Politics: A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies (Oxford University Press, 2005, coedited). He is currently an editor of the journals Party Politics and Representation. Stephen White is Professor of International Politics in the Department of Politics at the University of Glasgow, and a Senior Research Associate of its School of Slavonic, Central and East European Studies. A former president of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies and chief editor of the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, his recent books include Russia After Communism (coedited, Cass, 2002), Postcommunist Belarus (coedited, Rowman and Littlefield, 2005) and Developments in Russian Politics 6 (Palgrave and Duke, 2005).