Department of Political Science

Parties' Policy Adjustments in Response to Changes in Issue Saliency

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

A number of studies have investigated when parties change their policy positions. However, this growing body of research has had limited interaction with the literature on issue competition. To bring these two perspectives together, this article investigates how and when parties adjust their respective policy positions on immigration, the environment and the welfare state. In the article it is argued that especially large parties in electoral terms adjust their policy positions on specific issues in response to changes in the party system saliency of these issues. When the other parties increase their focus on a given issue, large parties adjust their position in the direction preferred by a majority of the voters. In the article this argument is investigated empirically, based on CMP data from 18 West European countries from 1980 to 2014. The findings largely support the argument and show a strong potential for further integration of the two dominant perspectives on party competition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWest European Politics
Pages (from-to)749-771
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Issue competition, environment, immigration, niche parties, party position, party size

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 148830384