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Politicians tied to a set of policies provide people with actual choices. They attract like-minded activists, campaign in more focused ways, and build an attractive party label. Last but not least, they are more likely to succeed in public office.

Political parties in many countries are struggling to shift from personality-based or clientelistic-focused approaches—to more programme-based strategies as they reach out to voters.

What features do successful programmatic parties exhibit that others lack? How is their success related to the quality of their leadership, the prosperity of the country, or the capacity of the state? What impact do economic or political crises exert on how politicians behave? Why must programmatic parties be considered together with citizens demanding better services?

This book is based on the work carried out by three teams of political scientists who examined what drives and strengthens programmatic politics, even under unlikely conditions. The authors draw lessons from Brazil, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, India, South Korea, Ukraine, Taiwan, Turkey, and Zambia, and uses the most up to date and comprehensive research on democratic accountability and citizen-politician linkages.

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