Who are The Political Parties’ Ideas Factories? On Policy Analysis by Political Party Think Tanks

Authored by: Valérie Pattyn , Gilles Pittoors , Steven Van Hecke

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Policy Analysis

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138959774
eBook ISBN: 9781315660561
Adobe ISBN:


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Political parties and their role in decision-making processes have been documented extensively in the past few decades. This is not surprising considering the central role that political parties play in the political system of modern democracies (Müller & Strom, 1999). Acting as the main intermediaries between state and society, political parties fulfil a myriad of roles and functions. The literature generally categorizes these functions in three groups: (1) interest aggregation and articulation, i.e., gathering public opinion and the preferences of the electorate, and conveying these in electoral programmes; (2) electoral competition, i.e., mobilizing the electorate in an attempt to compete in elections; and (3) seeking legislative and executive office, i.e., selecting and appointing candidates for political offices both in government and parliament (and other political bodies), and are responsible for drafting government programmes and policies (Müller & Strom, 1999).

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