Author : Florence Faucher-King
Description:Political parties in Europe face a crisis of legitimacy, which manifests itself through a decline in partisan identification, an increase in electoral volatility and a drop in membership figures. The development of new means of communication has transformed the way political parties relate to their constituents. In recent years political campaigning has become more centralised and more professional. Florence Faucher uses her research into party conferences as a vehicle for examining the changes that parties are undergoing as they provide a microcosm for the study of relationships between party leaders and their followers: it is where policy is decided upon and developed and where support for those plans is initiated.