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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter comments on Richard Rose’s book Do Parties Make a Difference?, which examines whether it makes a difference if Britain is ruled by a Conservative or a Labour government, as well as the differences that arise in terms of policy outputs and outcomes. First published in 1980, the book challenges two commonly held views on British politics: the hypothesis that political parties make a difference in public policy and the proposition that Britain’s post-war politics is primarily characterized by “adversarial politics.” The chapter discusses Rose’s claim that “what parties say is not what parties do” and his analysis of similarities and differences between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party.

Keywords: Richard Rose, Do parties make a difference?, Britain, politics, political parties, public policy, adversarial politics, Labour Party, Conservative Party

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