Center-Right Political Parties in Advanced Democracies


Gidron N, Ziblatt D. Center-Right Political Parties in Advanced Democracies. Annual Review of Political Science. 2019;22 :17-35.


This review proposes a comparative research agenda on center-right parties in advanced democracies, bringing together research in American and comparative politics. Political scientists have recently closely examined the decline of the center-left and the rise of the radical right but have paid less attention to the weakening of center-right parties. Yet cohesive center-right parties have facilitated political stability and compromises, while their disintegration has empowered radical challengers. After presenting an overview of right-wing politics in Western democracies and weighing different definitions of the electoral right, we discuss two factors that shape variations in center-right cohesion: organizational robustness of center-right partisan institutions and the (un)bundling of conservative mass attitudes on different policy dimensions. Last, we argue that a full account of the rise of the radical right cannot focus solely on the strategies of the center-left but must incorporate also the choices, opportunities, and constraints of center-right parties.

Last updated on 05/20/2019