La course au centre

Policy Convergence and Partisanship in France, 1981-2002

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Author: Sally Marthaler
View More View Less
Restricted access

Policy convergence between the political parties and the perception among voters that there is little to choose between left and right may be factors in the declining levels of partisanship observed in many advanced industrial democracies, including France, where these conditions emerged in the 1980s. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data, this article analyzes changes in the actual and perceived level of convergence between the mainstream parties in France from 1981 to 2002. It finds evidence of increasing policy convergence over the period as a result of a combination of endogenous and exogenous factors. It concludes that left-right ideological labels are still important to voters, even though they too have moved to the center, and that many of them want to see a clear dividing-line between the parties. The blurring of the boundaries between left and right and the “reversibility” of the mainstream parties has also enhanced the appeal of alternative and extremist parties.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 4 4 2
Full Text Views 1 1 0
PDF Downloads 2 2 0