The argument that western democracy is being hollowed out as political participation declines and party allegiance weakens is now widely cited yet the indicators can be uncertain and until now there hasnt been a comprehensive comparative study ruling the void analyzes democratic trends over the last few decades in europe and america and argues that there are two complementary processes at work popular disengagement and the withdrawal of political elites from a representative role . Chilling account of the end of party democracy by the leading political scientist in the long established democracies of western europe electoral turnouts are in decline membership is shrinking in the major parties and those who remain loyal partisans are sapped of enthusiasm this new book by the late peter mair 1951 2011 weighs the impact of these changes which together show that . Ruling the void offers an authoritative and chilling assessment of the prospects for popular political representation today not only in the varied democracies of europe but throughout the developed world from the trade paperback edition. Peter mairs ruling the void is one of the foundational texts for understanding what has often been called the democratic deficit in parliamentary politics today the book focuses in particular on the changing role of political parties and systems based on party mediated representation since the mid 20th century or so in this sense it is a classic work of political science rather than of political economy or philosophy although most of the contents of the book were written
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