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Political Science General

The Government Party

Political Dominance in Democracy

by (author) R. Kenneth Carty

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

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Democracy thrives on vigorous competition between political parties. However, in several established democracies one party manages to dominate national politics for decades at a time, seemingly creating a democratic one-party unnatural democracy. This book examines five such countries - Canada, Ireland, India, Japan, Italy - to understand what kind of party comes to dominate democratic competition, and how and why they do so. In different countries with different political challenges, an analysis of their 'Government Parties' reveals their common relationship with the origins and operations of the states they dominate, and the nation- and/or state-building challenges they face. Democratic dominance cannot last forever; how a government party responds to the seemingly inevitable decline of long-term support defines the prospects for its unnatural democracy.

Comparative Politics is a series for researchers, teachers, and students of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. Global in scope, books in the series are characterized by a stress on comparative analysis and strong methodological rigour. The series is published in association with the European Consortium for Political Research. For more information visit

The series is edited by Susan Scarrow, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston, and Jonathan Slapin, Professor of Political Institutions and European Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Zurich.

About the author

Contributor Notes

R. Kenneth Carty is is Professor Emeritus and former Head of Political Science in the University of British Columbia, where he held the Brenda and David McLean Chair in Canadian Studies, and served as the Director of the UBC Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions. Carty is a past President of the Canadian Political Science Association. His publications include Big Tent Politics (UBC Press, 2015), When Citizens Decide (with P. Fournier, H. van der Kolk, A. Blais, and J. Rose; OUP, 2015), and Politics is Local (OUP, 2005).

Other titles by R. Kenneth Carty