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Who Speaks for the Poor? explains why parties represent some groups and not others. This book focuses attention on the electoral geography of income, and how it has changed over time, to account for cross-national differences in the political and partisan representation of low-income voters. Jusko develops a general theory of new party formation that shows how changes in the geographic distribution of groups across electoral districts create opportunities for new parties to enter elections, especially where changes favor groups previously excluded from local partisan networks. Empirical evidence is drawn first from a broadly comparative analysis of all new party entry and then from a series of historical case studies, each focusing on the strategic entry incentives of new low-income peoples´ parties. Jusko offers a new explanation for the absence of a low-income people´s party in the USA and a more general account of political inequality in contemporary democratic societies.
Explains why parties represent some groups and not others, developing a theory of strategic party formation and entry that puts the electoral geography of income, as it develops over time, front and center
Marshals a wide range of quantitative and historical evidence including in-depth case studies of the USA, Canada, the UK, and Sweden and a comparative analysis of all new party entries from 1880-2000 across fourteen post-industrial democracies
Sheds new comparative light on why low-income citizens´ interests are underrepresented by American political institutions
Table of Contents
1. Who speaks for the poor?
2. How electoral geography matters
3. New parties and the changing electoral geography of contemporary democracies, 1880-2000
4. The populists and ´third-party men´ in America
5. Canadian electoral geography and the strategic entry of the CCF and social credit
6. The implications of electoral geography for British Labour
7. The Swedish Social Democratic Party, and the long-term implications of electoral reform
8. ´It didn´t happen here´: the general implications of electoral geography for the political representation of the poor.