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The Greek right: Structure and ideology of the New Democracy party.

Alexakis, Emmanuel G (1994) The Greek right: Structure and ideology of the New Democracy party. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The main issues on which the present study is focused are the foundation of the New Democracy party (ND) in 1974; its political personnel, leadership, organisation, ideology, electoral strategy and overall performance from 1974 until 1990 at both the national and the local level; as well as the extent to which ND resembled and/or differed from the traditional practices of its predecessor, the National Radical Union (ERE). The analysis and interpretation of ND not only comprises new empirical information obtained from our research in Greece, but also takes into account the specific characteristics and nature of the post-1974 socio-political system within which all the political parties have operated. Moreover, comparisons between ND and ERE go beyond the party level. In order to obtain rather more comprehensive and satisfactory explanations concerning the nature and exact political identity of ND (and, secondarily, of ERE), we expanded our analytical scope to include the broader socio-political characteristics of the two systems within which ERE and ND were created, functioned and interrelated. In other words, in our attempt to analyse ND, we used not only the explanatory variables of the party's historical background, political personnel, organisation, leadership and ideology, but also the specific features of the political systems within which ND and its predecessor ERE were set up, as well as the extent to which both parties were influenced by and themselves affected and shaped the broader socio-political environment. Taking into consideration all of the new empirical information and comparing ND with ERE, with the other major post-1974 Greek parties (particularly the Panhellenic Socialist Movement PASOK), as well as with many West European conservative parties, it is argued that ND should not be seen as simply a mere continuation of ERE, nor as a completely new and modern political formation. Although throughout the period under examination ND presented elements of continuity with its predecessor, it also gave evidence of change and modernisation, and demonstrated the characteristics of both a clientelist and a mass party of the Western European kind. Notwithstanding the coexistence and specific articulation among traditional and modern elements within its ranks - at times complementary, at other times not - ND today is still going through a transitional period. Whether or not this will lead to its full transformation into a modern mass party and an integrative political force of the Right, depends on a wide range of factors (operating from both within and outside the party), and remains to be seen.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1303

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