I've been writing a conference paper, hence the blogging silence. Will post shortly, in the meantime here's the abstract to whet your appetite:
This paper assesses the response of political parties in advanced democracies to the post-2007 financial and economic crisis. It suggests that the mainstream parties in western countries have yet to update their economic policy paradigms, remaining within the narrow range of policy positions considered appropriate through the 1990s and early 2000s. It then develops a theory of party politics to explain this lack of change, drawing on Katz and Mair’s concept of the cartel party. It is argued that parties form a cartel around market liberal policies as a response to their own organizational weakness, and make institutional changes to entrench this cartel. Faced with a changing political and economic environment, parties remain locked into a set of ideas, policies and discourses which responded as much to party leaders’ organizational needs as to the validity of the ideas themselves.