Political parties influence the political discourse and are core actors in the process of shaping public opinion.
This is why some scholars even use the term of party-democracies.
A party system is a concept in comparative political science concerning the system of government by political parties in a democratic country.
The traditional party landscape in Western Europe is currently undergoing a period of transition: decrease in membership of traditional parties, weaker party ties of the voters, electoral success of new formations etc. lead even to the emergence of the term crisis of the party democracy.
The bachelor seminar has the aim to compare political parties and party systems in Western Europe with regard to their structural features and main developments.
We will introduce and apply central categories of the research on political parties and identify differences and similarities of political parties and party systems in Western Europe.
Sartori, Giovanni . Parties and Party Systems: A framework for analysis (1976; reprint in 2005)
Mair, Peter, ed. The West European Party System (Oxford University Press, 1990)
Ware, A. (1996). Political Parties and Party Systems, Oxford University Press, Incorporated.
Reif, Karlheinz: Vergleichende Parteien- und Verbändeforschung, in: D. Berg-Schlosser/F. Müller-Rommel (Hrsg.): Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, 3 Aufl. Opladen, 1997.