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Issue entrepreneurship and multiparty competition

Hobolt, Sara and de Vries, Catherine E. (2015) Issue entrepreneurship and multiparty competition. Comparative Political Studies, 48 (9). pp. 1159-1185. ISSN 0010-4140

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0010414015575030


How do issues enter the political arena and come to affect party competition? This study extends the literature on issue evolution from the US context to multiparty systems. While traditional models assume opposition parties to be the agents of issue evolution, this study argues that within multiparty competition not all parties in opposition have an incentive to change the issue basis of political competition. The central propositions of our issue entrepreneurship model are two-fold: first, political parties are more likely to become issue entrepreneurs when they are losers on the dominant dimension of contestation. We focus on three components of political loss in multiparty systems relating to the office seeking, voting-seeking and policy-seeking objectives of parties. Second, parties will choose which issue to promote on the basis of their internal cohesion and proximity to the mean voter on that same issue. We test these propositions by examining the evolution of the issue of European integration in 14 European party systems from 1984 to 2006. The time-series cross-section analyses lend strong support to our model.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2015 16:20
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2024 01:00

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