Book Talk | The New Party Challenge: Changing Cycles of Party Birth and Death in Central Europe and Beyond


Tim Haughton, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Kevin Deegan-Krause, Wayne State University, Michigan

Date and Time

January 28, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


RSVP Required.


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Front cover of book titled "The New Party Challenge: Changing Cycles of Party Birth and Death in Central Europe and Beyond"
Why do some parties live fast and die young, but other endure? And why are some party systems more stable than others? Based on a blend of data derived from both qualitative and quantitative sources, in their recently released book Haughton and Deegan-Krause provide new tools for mapping and measuring party systems, and develop conceptual frameworks to analyse the dynamics of party politics, particularly the birth and death of parties. In addition to highlighting the importance of agency and choice in explaining the fate of parties, The New Party Challenge  underlines the salience of the clean versus corrupt dimension of politics, charts the flow of voters in the new party subsystem, and emphasizes the dimension of time and its role in shaping developments. Not only do the authors examine party politics in Central Europe in the three decades since the 1989 revolutions, charting and explaining the patterns of politics in that region, they also highlight that similar processes are at play on a far wider geographical canvas. Their talk will conclude by reflecting on what the dynamics of party politics, especially the emergence of so many new parties, means for the health and quality of democracy, and what could and should be done.


Headshot of Tim Haughton, Sr. Assoc. Prof. of European Politics, Univ. of Birmingham


Tim Haughton is a Senior Associate Professor of European Politics at the University of Birmingham, where he served as Head of the Department of Political Science and International Studies (2016-18) and the Director of the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (2012-14). Dr Haughton was educated at the London School of Economics and University College London. He has held Visiting Fellowships at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, the Institute of International Relations in Prague, Colorado College and was an Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Fellow at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. Dr Haughton has good links with the policymaking community, having briefed inter alia five British Ambassadors to Slovakia before they took up their posts, and given several presentations on Central European politics at the Foreign Office in London and at the State Department in Washington DC.

Tim’s research interests encompass electoral and party politics, electoral campaigning, the role of the past in the politics of the present, the domestic politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic and Brexit. He is the co-author with Kevin Deegan-Krause of The New Party Challenge: Changing Cycles of Party Birth and Death in Central Europe and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2020), the author of Constraints and Opportunities of Leadership in Post-Communist Europe (Ashgate 2005), the editor of Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: Does EU Membership Matter? (Routledge, 2011) and served as the co-editor with Nathaniel Copsey of the Journal of Common Market Studies’ Annual Review of the European Union for nine years (2008-16).

Headshot of Kevin Deegan-Krause, Associate Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University.

Kevin Deegan-Krause is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Georgetown University in 1990 and his doctorate in Government from the University of Notre Dame in 2000. He has spent more than two decades studying how political parties compete against one another, and how that competition shapes what happens in a democracy.  He has published what he learned from research on European political parties in several books book (Elected Affinities: Democracy and Party Competition in Slovakia and the Czech Republic published by Stanford University Press in 2006 and The New Party Challenge: Changing Cycles of Party Birth and Death in Central Europe and Beyond, published by Oxford University Press in 2020) and many articles in political science journals and he has been the editor of several other books and the European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook ( which provides an annual summary of political developments in European, North American and Asian democracies. His ongoing research focuses on the emergence of new political parties and the transformation of existing ones.

Together with his wife Bridget and his children Elena and Peter, Kevin is also engaged in his local community of Ferndale, Michigan, and in broader public concerns.  He received a Truman Scholarship for public service in 1988, and his commitment to public service has included work with the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Commission, election observation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as service on Ferndale's elected Library Board and School Board.  He has also worked with many other local voluntary organizations and nonpartisan advocacy groups including promoting fair district boundaries with Voters Not Politicians and encouraging ranked-choice voting with RankMIVote.  His commitment to voter turnout and other forms of civic engagement is also part of his classroom teaching, including his introductory courses on the city of Detroit and engaged citizenship for students in Wayne State University's Honors College.


Co-sponsored by the Global Populisms Project


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