Politicians tied to a set of policies provide people with actual choices.

They attract like-minded activists, campaign in more focused ways, and build an attractive party label. Last but not least, they are more likely to succeed in public office.

Political parties in many countries are struggling to shift from personality-based or clientelistic-focused approaches—to more programme-based strategies as they reach out to voters.

What features do successful programmatic parties exhibit that others lack? How is their success related to the quality of their leadership, the prosperity of the country, or the capacity of the state? What impact do economic or political crises exert on how politicians behave? Why must programmatic parties be considered together with citizens demanding better services?

This book is based on the work carried out by three teams of political scientists who examined what drives and strengthens programmatic politics, even under unlikely conditions. The authors draw lessons from Brazil, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, India, South Korea, Ukraine, Taiwan, Turkey and Zambia, and uses the most up to date and comprehensive research on democratic accountability and citizen-politician linkages.


Publication date
21 May 2014
Nic Cheeseman, Juan Pablo Luna, Herbert Kitschelt, Dan Paget, Fernando Rosenblat,t Kristen Sample, Sergio Toro, Jorge Valladares Molleda, Sam van der Staak, Yi-ting Wang
Number of pages
978-91-87729-42-3 (Print)




Acronyms and abbreviations


1. Programmatic Parties: A Survey of Dimensions and Explanations in the Literature
Juan Pablo Luna, Fernando Rosenblatt and Sergio Toro

2. Programmatic Parties and Party Systems: Opportunities and Constraints
Herbert Kitschelt and Yi-ting Wang

3. Programmatic Politics in Comparative Perspective
Nic Cheeseman and Dan Paget

4. Implications for Action: Enablers, Triggers, Lockers and Agents of Programmatic Parties
Jorge Valladares Molleda, Kristen Sample and Sam van der Staak

About the authors

About International IDEA

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Politics Meets Policies

The Emergence of Programmatic Political Parties
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