chapter  2
Inside the party
Changing conditions and strategies
Pages 22

As described in the previous chapter, ‘external’ problems such as the emerging economic crises of the post-war system, an emerging ideological crisis, and the change in environmental conditions diminished the capacity of party leaders and policy-makers to offer successful policy alternatives to party members and the electorate. This is clearly one of the problems areas that can be partly blamed for Labour’s and the SPD’s problems in the 1980s and up to the mid1990s. However, the parties’ loss of influence over domestic policy agenda setting and government policy was not caused solely by those ‘external’ factors, but also by various ‘internal’ factors that were due to the German and British political systems, traditions, changes in the use of the media and parties’ ability to influence preference formation.