What Gives Politics Such a Bad Name?

Heinz Brandenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the erosive impact of a shift from a politics of conflict, of polarized partisan representation to valence politics, a politics of performance, delivery and widespread policy consensus in advanced Western democracies. It is argued that consensus politics undermines the structuring role of political parties in the representation of societal conflict and hence results in diminishing interest, intensity and respect for politicians, parties and parliaments. It points towards a political rather than a sociological explanation of declining political trust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-511
Number of pages11
JournalIrish Political Studies
Issue number4
Early online date21 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • political trust
  • diffuse support
  • representation
  • parties
  • Schattschneider
  • valence politics


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