Nicholas Aylott

Nicholas Aylott
Södertörn University | sh · School of Social Sciences

PhD

About

52
Publications
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784
Citations
Citations since 2017
16 Research Items
371 Citations
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Introduction
Nicholas Aylott currently works at the School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Sweden. Nicholas does research in comparative politics, qualitative and multi-method research, and political organisations and parties. He is currently working on party leaders and their selection.

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
Full-text available
The Swedish Liberal Party chose a new leader in 2019. It was, in some ways, typical of leader selection in Sweden. It featured an elaborate, institutionalised and yet only semi-public form of “precursory delegation,” in which aspiring leaders are filtered by a “steering agent” on behalf of the party's main power centres. In other ways, though, the...
Article
Full-text available
The Swedish parliamentary election of 11 September 2022 led to the removal of a Social Democratic government and the installation of a right-of-centre coalition. The change was made possible by the mainstream right's abandon-ment of the previous cordon sanitaire around the radical-right Sweden Democrats (SD). The new government, consisting of the M...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, the aim is to enhance our understanding of who has power over leader selection in political parties. To this end, we apply an analytical framework in which the selection process is divided into three phases: gatekeeping, preparation and decision. The focus is on determining the extent to which each of these phases is influential fo...
Article
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Sweden's management of the coronavirus pandemic, beginning in early 2020, has been much discussed because it deviated from other countries' equivalents. Set in the context of scholarly debate about the balance between politicians and experts in political decision-making, we argue that a necessary condition for this case of Swedish exceptionalism wa...
Article
Full-text available
Sweden's management of the coronavirus pandemic, beginning in early 2020, has been much discussed because it deviated from other countries' equivalents. Set in the context of scholarly debate about the balance between politicians and experts in political decision-making, we argue that a necessary condition for this case of Swedish exceptionalism wa...
Article
Full-text available
Unlike political parties in many other countries, Swedish ones have not adopted more inclusive methods for choosing their election candidates and party leaders. While the party congress formally selects important party offices, the process is managed, prior to the formal vote, by a selection committee vested with the task of filtering the pool of p...
Article
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The aims of this article are, first, to describe the Swedish authorities’ strategy for dealing with the sudden onset of novel coronavirus in early 2020 and, second, to explain why that strategy differed markedly from those in nearly all other European countries. From an early stage, the Swedish government delegated decision making to the Public Hea...
Book
This book explores the varying ways in which political parties in Europe make arguably their most important decisions: the selection of their leaders. The choice shapes the representation of a party externally. It also influences the management of internal conflict, because there will always be some disagreement about the party’s direction. The rul...
Chapter
Political parties shape politics, and the most important person in a party is usually the leader. Party leaders make the political weather. Take a recent example from Britain. In 2015 the Labour PartyLabour Party (UK), somewhat unexpectedly, lost a national election. Its leader resigned and a new one was needed. “Jeremy CorbynCorbyn, Jeremy is not...
Chapter
The international trend towards more inclusive leader selection (Cross and Blais in Party Politics 18: 127–150, 2012) seems to have gone largely unnoticed by Swedish parties. At least on the surface, the process works as it has done for decades. Almost exclusively to SwedenSweden, it centres on a valberedningvalberedning, a selection committeeselec...
Chapter
In modern democracy, party leaders are key actors. Not only do they hold the highest offices of their organisations; they are also figureheads externally. Party leaders take centre stage in elections, parliamentary debates and in government formation. They are constantly present in the media; political news is simply incomplete without them.
Article
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Are right-wing populist parties fundamentally diff erent from other types? Th is article explores one aspect of what we call the exceptionalist thesis. Th e thesis could be applied to a wide range of party characteristics, but here we focus on leadership. In this context, our case study is of the Sweden Democrats (SD). First, we examine how SD sele...
Article
Full-text available
In the Swedish parliamentary election of 7 September 2018, the biggest parties, the Social Democrats and the Moderates, both lost votes compared to their scores in the previous election, but not as many as they had feared. Commensurately, the radical-right challenger party, the Sweden Democrats (SD), which had seemed certain to profit from Sweden's...
Article
The question of how party leaders are selected has recently, and belatedly, come under systematic comparative scrutiny. If it is the location of intra-party power that interests us, however, it might be that some of the more observable indicators in such processes, such as the identity of the selectorate, are not actually the most revealing ones. U...
Article
The parliamentary election of 14 September 2014 induced decidedly mixed feelings in the Swedish Green Party (Miljöpartiet de gröna). It led to the ejection of the centre-right government and the installation, for the first time, of Green cabinet ministers. However, the party also experienced a small but unexpected loss of votes compared to its scor...
Article
Full-text available
This article addresses political-party organization in Estonia, especially candidate selection. Its first objective is to describe the ways in which the main parties chose their candidates before the 2011 parliamentary election. A second objective is to evaluate those procedures in light of expectations generated by established theory. The focus is...
Book
Political parties are essential for the functioning of parliamentary democracy but how have parties adapted to the challenges created by the growth of a new layer of political decision-making at the supranational level, i.e. the EU? This comparative survey focuses on parties in four Nordic countries, including Norway, which remains outside the EU....
Chapter
For all the changes in European governance in recent decades, which some suggest have left the old ‘boundaries’ of the state out of sync with each other (Bartolini 2005), national democratic systems remain the centrepiece of politics. Moreover, despite their frequently alleged decline (see Daalder 1992), parties remain absolutely central to politic...
Chapter
As we saw in the previous, introductory chapter, delegation of political power is at the heart of representative democracy. As in many other parts of life, we select other people to act on our behalf when we lack the capacity (often in the form of time) or competence (such as specialist, expert knowledge or talent) to get the job done ourselves, or...
Chapter
This final empirical chapter brings us to Sweden, the third EU member among the Nordic states. Sweden joined the Union at the start of 1995. Accession followed a referendum in October the previous year, in which the electorate approved the terms of membership by a fairly narrow margin. After that, opinion polls consistently showed Swedes to be amon...
Chapter
This chapter turns to Norway which, like Iceland, remains outside the EU. On two occasions, in the early 1970s and the mid-1990s, the country’s government felt confident that Norwegian membership of the Union had been arranged, only to see its plans dashed by the electorate in consultative referendums. Thereafter Norway assumed the status of a semi...
Chapter
At the beginning of the 1990s, the debate on EU membership developed in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The main reason was the severe economic difficulties that hit these countries. However, in the Finnish case, another argument was relevant. Throughout its history, Finland has been strongly influenced by the fact that the country is situated between...
Chapter
In this first empirical chapter, we look at Denmark, the Nordic country with the longest-standing EU membership. The Danes joined the European Community (EC) in 1973, alongside Britain and Ireland (but not Norway, which, as we will see later in the book, declined to take up the terms of its accession). Denmark’s involvement in European integration...
Chapter
In the previous chapters of this book, we have looked at the way political parties are organised and take decisions in Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Our interest in the topic has been fired particularly by the debate about the effects of the European Union on the systems of democracy in its member states — and, indeed, in...
Article
Democracy within Parties: Candidate Selection Methods and Their Political Consequences. By HazanReuven Y. and RahatGideon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. 264p. $85. - Volume 9 Issue 2 - Nicholas Aylott
Article
As discussed in chapters 1 and 2, political parties are absolutely central to the chains of delegation and accountability by which citizens exercise their sovereignty in parliamentary democracies. Parties have frequently been seen as essential mechanisms for communication between state and society- perhaps especially in times of crisis, such as the...
Article
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Paper presented at the annual Political Studies Association conference, Bath, April 11th-13th 2007 This is very much work in progress, so please do not quote without permission. We are keen to get feedback and suggestions for how we can develop the paper, empirically and theoretically. ABSTRACT. The paper describes and analyses the construction of...
Article
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  The likely effects of the ongoing process of European integration on the internal workings of national political parties have hitherto attracted surprisingly little attention in comparative research. This conceptual article discusses how the increasing relevance of European-level decision making may have changed the balance of power within nation...
Article
  This article examines the institutional arrangements between Social Democratic parties and trade unions in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. First, the authors show how these relations have weakened at a varying pace. Party–union ties are now quite distant in Denmark, but remain relatively close in Norway and, especially, Sweden. Second, the authors ex...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
[From the introduction]. A great deal of research, both normative and empirical and too voluminous to be listed here, has been devoted to this democratic deficit. But the vast majority of it focuses on the institutions of the Union. Only a small, albeit growing, section takes up the effect of European integration on national political parties; and...
Article
THE RESULT OF THE DANISH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION OF 11 MARCH 1998 could hardly have been closer. It came down to 89 voters in the Faroes: had this number voted for the local centre-right party, rather than the centre-left one, both of the islands' two seats in the Danish Folketing (parliament) would have gone to supporters of the opposition, thus ti...
Article
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In this essay, we examine the introduction of three points for a win in senior football, a reform that eventually became universally adopted. We have two objectives. First, we seek to answer the question of whether the effect of the new system has justified its proliferation. The second objective is to present a methodological discussion about how...
Article
Sweden's referendum on whether to join EMU produced an emphatic No. The murder of one of the Yes side's leading representatives thus appeared not to have affected the result. Cleavages exposed in the referendum on EU membership nine years previously were even more apparent this time; yet No-voters were also to found across the political, regional a...
Article
Shows that the politics of democratic societies is moving towards a presidentialized working mode, even in the absence of formal institutional changes. These developments can be explained by a combination of long-term structural changes in modern politics and societies’ contingent factors that fluctuate over time. While these contingent, short-term...
Article
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Well-know theories of party organization and behaviour suggest that the mass parties of Western Europe have evolved into new,models, with more powerful and autonomous leaderships and weaker memberships and collateral organizations. However, these theories have not really been tested in in-depth case studies - particularly beyond the national level...
Article
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The issue of European integration has disrupted party politics in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in various ways. This article assesses the impact of internal division over Europe within certain parties, and these parties' responses to it. It is argued that party leaderships have increasingly attempted to compartmentalize the different arenas in which...
Chapter
The Swedish Social Democratic Party is often referred to in English by its acronym, SAP, from its name in Swedish, Socialdemokratiska Arbetarepartiet. SAP can justifiably lay claim to being Europe's most successful political party. By 1998 it had been in government for a remarkable 61 years since universal suffrage was established in Sweden in 1921...
Article
Sweden voted in November 1994 to approve EU membership. Although the Social Democratic Party's leadership advocated approval, the membership was badly divided. Against the backdrop of two Nordic sister parties’ similar difficulties, this article examines the leadership's management of the internal conflict. It analyses the evolution and main elemen...
Article
Full-text available
Sweden's election of September 1994 returned Ingvar Carlsson's Social Democrats to power following three years of non-socialist coalition government. After a deep recession, observers wondered whether the electoral volatility apparent in 1991, chiefly in Social Democratic losses and New Democracy's arrival, would continue. Moreover, long-establishe...

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Projects (2)
Project
Our goal in this project is to develop, and apply empirically, an analytical framework for assessing how a party's selection procedures define what it wants from its leader. The framework emphasises not just what should happen according to party rules, but also the "real story" of how the process actually unfolds. We suggest that this real story has two essential – and hitherto understudied – features. Such is the importance of its leader to a party, we argue that the way in which it selects that individual offers arguably the most illuminating insight into its nature – the party's very idea of itself. As a consequence, our analysis can shed considerable light on contemporary debates about intra-party democracy. The project is funded by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies.