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Choosing party leaders: Anglophone democracies, British parties and the limits of comparative politics

Denham, Andrew

Authors

Andrew Denham



Abstract

Since 1965, Britain’s major political parties have radically, and repeatedly, changed the ways in which they choose their leaders. Building on a recent comparative study of party leadership selection in the five principal Anglophone (‘Westminster’) parliamentary democracies (Cross and Blais, 2012a), this article first outlines a theoretical framework that purports to explain why the major parties in three of those countries, including Britain, have adopted such reform. It then examines why five major British parties have done so since 1965. It argues that, while Cross and Blais’ study makes a significant contribution to our knowledge and understanding of processes of party leadership selection reform in Anglophone parliamentary democracies, it has limited explanatory power when applied to changes enacted by the major parties in modern and contemporary Britain. Instead, the adoption of such reform in the British context is ultimately best understood and explained by examining both the internal politics and external circumstances of individual parties.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 31, 2017
Journal British Politics
Print ISSN 1746-918X
Electronic ISSN 1746-9198
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2
APA6 Citation Denham, A. (2017). Choosing party leaders: Anglophone democracies, British parties and the limits of comparative politics. British Politics, 12(2), doi:10.1057/s41293-016-0022-8
DOI https://doi.org/10.1057/s41293-016-0022-8
Keywords party leaders; leadership selection; Anglophone democracies; comparative politics; British politics
Publisher URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fs41293-016-0022-8
Related Public URLs http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/political+science/journal/41293
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0
Additional Information This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in British Politics. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Denham, A. Br Polit (2016). doi:10.1057/s41293-016-0022-8 is available online at: http://link.springer.co...057%2Fs41293-016-0022-8

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0





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