Riker and Rokkan: Remarks on the Strategy and Structure of Party Competition
GB : SAGE Publications
912 - 918 p.
Issue competition, party competition, party strategy, political parties
This special issue studies the strategic interaction between major state-wide and regional parties in a political setting defined by multiple, potentially cross-cutting, political issues pertaining to the economy and the territorial organization of multi-national states. Through this framework, this special issue locates itself decisively in the behaviorist tradition of studying political competition. Stemming from the classical works of Riker and the Rochester school, and focusing on rational choice models, this tradition has influenced a lively literature on party strategies. This concluding article of the special issue argues that the findings of the substantive contributions create a bridge between the strategic, Rikerian literature they stem from and seek to engage with, and more sociological approaches to the study of political parties that focus on the structural features of politics reaching back to the works of Lipset and Rokkan. I suggest that, ultimately, this special issue demonstrates the socially, historically, and institutionally bounded opportunities of political parties. Fundamentally, the special issue makes a significant contribution to the strategic literature by suggesting structural limits to strategic behavior.