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date: 19 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

International work on political parties and party systems is presented first in this chapter, and then the French scholarship which is largely ignored by international party scholars. The analysis argues the gap between the English-language and French literature is actually widening because of the French penchant for the sociocultural approach. It identifies the need for both French and international communities to better connect in order to avoid isolation and fossilization on both sides. While the micro and qualitative French work challenges some of the tenets of international models, like the catch-all model, and presents important empirical knowledge about French political parties at the local level, French scholars should take a broader perspective on political parties by embracing alternative approaches and examining new objects of study outside the purview of the sociocultural paradigm to address the persistent and widening gap between French and international work on party systems and parties.

Keywords: political party systems, Duverger, catch-all models, sociocultural approach, French party system

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