Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics: Post-Imperial Democracies: Ideology and Party Formation in Third Republic France, Weimar Germany, and Post-Soviet Russia (Paperback)
  • Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics: Post-Imperial Democracies: Ideology and Party Formation in Third Republic France, Weimar Germany, and Post-Soviet Russia (Paperback)
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Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics: Post-Imperial Democracies: Ideology and Party Formation in Third Republic France, Weimar Germany, and Post-Soviet Russia (Paperback)

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Paperback 306 Pages / Published: 05/07/2010
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This book examines the causal impact of ideology through a comparative-historical analysis of three cases of 'post-imperial democracy': the early Third Republic in France (1870-86); the Weimar Republic in Germany (1918-34); and post-Soviet Russia (1992-2008). Hanson argues that political ideologies are typically necessary for the mobilization of enduring, independent national party organizations in uncertain democracies. By presenting an explicit and desirable picture of the political future, successful ideologues induce individuals to embrace a long-run strategy of cooperation with other converts. When enough new converts cooperate in this way, it enables sustained collective action to defend and extend party power. Successful party ideologies thus have the character of self-fulfilling prophecies: by portraying the future polity as one organized to serve the interests of those loyal to specific ideological principles, they help to bring political organizations centered on these principles into being.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521709859
Number of pages: 306
Weight: 420 g
Dimensions: 228 x 153 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'In many respects, Stephen E. Hanson's intellectually provocative and conceptually innovative study is an attempt to refute the argument ... that ideology would fade away in our post-industrial, postmodern, post-utopian and post-historical age.' The Times Literary Supplement
"In the decades since the third wave of global democratization began, we have once again become aware of how critical well-functioning political parties are to the consolidation of democracy. Using historical and contemporary cases, Stephen Hanson investigates the question of how and when strong, coherent parties develop and puts forward a provocative argument about the role of ideology in the whole process. Students of democracy will find this a valuable and timely contribution to the literature on democratic consolidation." - Sheri Berman, Barnard College
"Post-Imperial Democracies brims with theoretical originality and bold propositions backed by evidence culled from painstaking research on several major cases. Its central claim - that ideology should be treated as a major driver of political outcomes - could not be more forcefully articulated, more skillfully supported, or more engagingly presented. Here we have a work that fits - and might help resurrect - the grand tradition of comparative social inquiry." - M. Steven Fish, University of California, Berkeley
"Post-Imperial Democracies is destined to be a big book in comparative politics. Brilliantly recasting Weberian theory for a return to mainstream political science, Stephen E. Hanson argues that political behavior cannot be fully understood through a rational choice paradigm. Weberianism, in fact, can tell us when people display instrumental rationality and when they act according to habit, affect, or deeply held values that overpower all strategic considerations. Ideology is one such set of values, Hanson contends, explaining why seemingly crazy zealots often turn out to be the most successful party-builders in troubling times, Hitler being only the most infamous example. Hanson's theory provides fascinating reinterpretations of party and regime development in Third Republic France, Weimar Germany, and post-Soviet Russia." - Henry E. Hale, George Washington University
"Stephen E. Hanson has written a very stimulating book seeking to explain how ideology plays a central role in the formation of successful parties in times of uncertainty." - Graeme Gill, University of Sydney, Australia, Slavic Review

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