chapter  3
Pages 21

However, a historical evaluation of the governmental role of different parties and of its change over time was not a major concern in the literature. Of course, national accounts were replete with analysis and information of individual cases of parties in cabinets, but a comparative systematic perspective of the governmental performance of parties has not been attempted. More precisely, there has been little debate on precisely which conceptual framework and which empirical indicators should be used to engage in such historical and comparative endeavor. The lack of attention to this problem, or the lack of

consensus on how to handle it empirically, has contributed to several shortcomings in various areas of the party system literature. I will mention three examples which, in my opinion, precisely require a general framework and specific indicators for the evaluation of the parties’ governmental role over time.