Posts on political studies and political science

Since starting my Masters at the University of Essex, I’ve been writing occasional posts on ideas from political studies and political science in an attempt to bring them to a wider audience. Here they are, currently in chronological order:

How the stalking horse became extinct – How party leadership contests have changed, and aren’t run how you might think they are.
How many parties? – Methods for measuring and comparing the effective number of political parties in a political system.
Why do people join political parties? (And why don’t they do it now?) – Questions of political party membership, and how it has declined dramatically over the years.
Are party members more radical than their leaders? – Does the idea that party leaders have to regularly confront militant ‘activists’ in their memberships have any basis?
What do Conservative members think? (And what do they think about the coalition?) – Looking at some new research on the views of Conserative party members.
Carswell’s victory in Clacton: trend or outlier? – Applying some of the latest research to the by-election result.
Does seeking votes actually lose parties votes? – A potential paradox of how shedding their roots for short-term gain might cause long-term problems for parties.
Lefts and Rights and Ups and Downs – An introduction to Anthony Downs’ theories of how political parties compete.
Some more on political party membership – how rare is a membership like the SNP’s? – With the SNP’s membership now around 2% of the Scottish electorate, what European parties are of a similar size?
Receive-Accept-Sample: How people form opinions – A look at John Zaller’s The Nature And Origins Of Mass Opinion

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