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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Philosophy
Author Humphreys, Carrie Ruth
Title Explaining the electoral fortunes of niche parties in Europe: The winning formula: Selective opportunism?
Date 2016-12
Description Since the 1970s, there has been an increase in the number of niche parties that are concerned with a specific issue or cluster of highly related issues such as minority containment/cultural protection and the environment in the countries of Western Europe. A similar trend is also now apparent in many Central and Eastern European states. While the creation of niche parties is not, by itself, necessarily of great importance to a party system, what is important is when these parties exhibit success at the ballot box. The electoral fortunes of niche parties can have important effects on party systems by upsetting mainstream party relationships and long-standing governing coalitions, and influencing public policy. Thus, the central question of this project is under what conditions do niche parties achieve electoral success? This dissertation provides a better understanding of how institutions, strategy, and socioeconomic conditions explain variations in the electoral fortunes of niche parties. More specifically, this project expands upon the strategic explanation, by incorporating agency for niche parties, and tests the strategic interaction model, one that looks at how the strategies of mainstream and niche parties play out in a given institutional and socioeconomic context. Employing a mixed-methods research design of statistical analysis and in-depth interviews from Denmark, France, Hungary, and the Netherlands, the results reveal, for example, that the electoral fortunes of niche parties are often not enhanced through avenues such as participating in an electoral alliance or governing coalition, and that voters and mainstream parties seemingly respond to niche parties and issues based on different factors.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Election strategy; Electoral success; Europe; Niche political parties;European Studies; Political science
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Carrie Ruth Humphreys
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s61017zn
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2018-07-16
Date Modified 2020-05-07
ID 1349271
Reference URL

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Title Page 31
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2018-07-16
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 1349302
Reference URL