This book is a major analysis of the role of political parties in the development and promotion of democracy. Alan Ware offers a highly original discussion of an area of political life that has remained surprisingly underexamined--the impact of parties on democratic life. Citizens, Parties, and the State successfully combines a comparative study of parties with a comprehensive discussion of democratic theory. It examines the role of parties in one-party political systems, focusing on the issue of whether there can be democracy in one-party systems. These party systems are then contrasted with those found in representative democracies.
The author presents a detailed analysis of the development, evolution, and structure of political parties in the West, exploring such issues as the nature of voter-choice in two-party and multi-party systems, and the question of who exactly controls the political system--the voter or the parties, the political elite or the grass-roots activists. Finally, he looks at the internal operations of political parties and the fate of attempts to democratize them. He has drawn extensive conclusions about the proper place of parties and party systems in democratic theory.
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