How Far Have European Political Parties Followed the Americans in the Later Post-war Period? A Textual Analysis
Before answering the general question posed in the title this article first considers the different types of analysis which can be applied to texts, and the procedures followed in quantitative content analysis – with particular reference to the Comparative Manifestos Project, now MARPOR, from which our data are drawn. These show that the considerable Rightwards movement of the US parties in the later post-war period is not matched in Western Europe nor in Europe generally. As many countries drift Leftwards as Rightwards and some, like Germany, remain largely stable. We conclude by considering the practical policy consequences of changing party commitments and how the analysis of covert meanings in texts might be synthesised with the study of overt meanings reported here.
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