‘Empty Nets’

  title={‘Empty Nets’},
  author={Christopher S. Allen},
  journal={Party Politics},
  pages={635 - 653}
The Social Democratic parties of Germany and Sweden were part of ‘third way’ movements common to such political parties during the mid-1990s. By continuing to moderate their positions and move away from their traditional bases towards the centre, they seemed to embody — a generation later — a second embracing of Kirchheimer’s ‘catch-all’ party thesis. But unlike its 1960s’ incarnation, each of them in the mid-1990s disregarded their left flanks and saw considerable growth of both Green and Left… 

Tables from this paper

What's Left of the Left?: Democrats and Social Democrats in Challenging Times
In What’s Left of the Left , distinguished scholars of European and U.S. politics consider how center-left political parties have fared since the 1970s. They explore the left’s responses to the end
Poverty and partisanship: Social and economic sources of support for the far Left in contemporary Germany
This article explores the changing politics of economic inequality in Germany in a time of economic austerity and high unemployment and how these changes have affected the electoral fortunes of
Social Democratic Parties ' March to the Middle in Western Europe Catchall or Catch and Release ? The Electoral Consequences of
Although the move to the center of many European Social Democratic parties in the 1990s was first rewarded with victories, these parties have since faced a remarkable electoral drought. What explains
‘Breaking up is hard to do’: German trade unions within the Social Democratic Party
Scholars have long conceptualized unions and left parties as powerful and independent social actors within national systems of the political economy. Yet a unique survey of more than 2300 German
Catchall or Catch and Release? The Electoral Consequences of Social Democratic Parties’ March to the Middle in Western Europe
Although the move to the center of many European Social Democratic parties in the 1990s was first rewarded with victories, these parties have since faced a remarkable electoral drought. What explains
Electoral volatility and parties’ ideological responsiveness
For a number of decades now, scholars have been indicating that ties between citizens and parties are eroding. As a consequence, electoral behaviour has become more volatile and also more
How the SPD Lost the Future: The Party’s Crisis as a Loss of Future-imagining
  • L. Byrne
  • Political Science
    German Politics
  • 2020
In 2019, a Der Spiegel poll asked German readers which party has the best answers to the ‘questions of the future?' Just two percent nominated the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), once Germany's
Towards a new party system
The results of the 2009 Bundestag election and subsequent Land elections suggest that the German party system is changing fundamentally. A few facts suffice to corroborate this statement: Volatility
Moderation and Competence: How a Party's Ideological Position Shapes Its Valence Reputation
We combine several strands of research from electoral behaviour and party politics to suggest that ideological moderation will boost a party’s perceived competence. Less radical parties are seen as
Ideas, Institutions and Organized Capitalism: Germany, Europe and 21st Century Path Dependent Economic Policy Models
For nearly four decades, coordinated market economies (CMEs) reigned in much of continental Europe and its most hegemonic exemplar was the Federal Republic of Germany. However, for the past twenty


Is the left alright? The SPD and the renewal of European social democracy
The late 1990s appeared to herald a new dawn for European social democracy. Social democratic governments were elected to office in Germany, the UK and France (and participated in governments in 12
Globalization and the Limits of Democratic Choice Social Democracy and the Rise of Political Cartelization
uch contemporary analysis of the limits of social democracy in Europe focuses upon the role of external factors (Cerny 1995, Moses 1997). In particular, the idea that globalization has »changed
The Left Party in Contemporary German Politics
The Linkspartei is Germany's newest political party. It grew out of the predominantly eastern German PDS and the largely western German WASG. It is the first party in Germany's history to stabilize
Towards a two-party system? The Swedish parliamentary election of September 2006
The Swedish Social Democrats are one of the most successful political parties in the democratic world. Between 1932 and 2006 they were out of government for just over nine years, and had not needed a
The Lifespan and the Political Performance of Green Parties in Western Europe
A quarter-century ago green and alternative movements emerged in most European countries. As advanced industrial societies were experiencing shifts towards postmaterialist value orientations
Otto Kirchheimer and the catch-all party
Otto Kirchheimer's conception of the catch-all party was part of his more comprehensive theory of party transformation, encompassing four interrelated political processes. By tracing the development
The transformation of Western European party systems revisited
Otto Kirchheimer has argued that a transformation of Western European party systems is under way. If Kirchheimer's assertions about the emergence and success of catch‐all parties are correct, we
‘Small Steps’ or ‘Great Leaps’: How the Swedish Greens Are Learning the Lessons of Government Participation
As Green parties have solidified their positions within the Western European party systems, they have increasingly faced opportunities and pressures to participate in government at varying levels.
The SPD, the Welfare State, and Agenda 2010
The German Social Democratic Party (SPD) celebrated its 140 years of existence on 23 May 2003 with the appropriate fanfare in Berlin. Not too many other political parties in the world can match this
Class Structure and Social Democratic Party Strategy
Arguments that infer the inevitable decline of European socialist and social democratic parties from the changing class structures of advanced capitalist societies have two major flaws. Firstly, they