Political Entrepreneurship and Civil Society

Book Review: Catherine E. De Vries and Sara B. Hobolt. Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe. Princeton, United States: Princeton University Press, 2020. 

The European Union brings together 27 democratic member states, which all have individual domestic political arrangements. Issues that divide politics in one nation-state can lead to divisions in supranational decision-making and the increasing fragmentation of political discourse on a national level, therefore, represents challenges for the bloc as a whole. There is a need to study issue emergence on an European level in order to better understand the mechanisms that drive contemporary political debate. Catherine De Vries’ and Sara Hobolt’s work Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties aims to advance the academic debate in this field with a quantitative study about political issue emergence. While the work provides valuable insights into why certain parties choose to mobilise certain issues in their programmes, the book does not demonstrate why these issues become important in our society and how they are legitimised in our discourse. 

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