Co-edited by Darren Lilleker and Jennifer Lees-Marshment

Political marketing has become a global phenomenon as parties try to copy the market-oriented approach employed by Tony Blair to win power for New Labour in 1997. Increasingly voters choose parties like consumers choose products, and this study looks at how some political parties, such as Sinn Fein, have been able to capitalise on this to gain support. It raises fresh perspectives on the more established political marketing practices in the UK and US, such as how to incorporate political leadership within the market-oriented framework and the democratic implications when faced with the actually business of governing. This book also highlights how the market-oriented party approach has spread around the world, including Europe and the new democracies of Brazil and Peru. The chapters, in demonstrating this convergence in practices, also question whether this strategy is appropriate for political systems based on proportional representation and coalition governments such as those in Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and devolved systems in Northern Ireland and Scotland. The collection also introduces the debate on whether such practices enhance or undermine democracy.

Review comments:

  • ‘The Lees-Marshment model… is concise and very elegant and…convincingly illuminates New Labour’s genesis…. the model…is clearly a valuable heuristic device…this book is a very useful addition to a growing literature…the authors are not afraid to address the weaknesses in their model and remain remarkably open as to its general utility or even to the question of whether political marketing can ever provide even partial solutions to key problems for liberal democracies…’ (Party Politics 13 2007)
  • ‘Pioneering collection…shows that the introductory phase of fashionable and loose usage of marketing jargon in political science is over. The key terms – products, market and goals – are tested so as to both broaden understanding of them and to set limits to their utilisation…The book points to substantial questions: the nature of the relationships between voter, party member, party leadership and the government in the sense of responsiveness, effectiveness and the unfolding of politics and policy through time. The way it provokes these questions makes it well worth reading, whether by party politics specialists or other political scientists.’ (Political Studies Review 4/2  2006)

Political marketing in comparative perspective was published in May 2005 by Manchester University Press. See

1. Introduction: Rethinking political party behaviour – Darren G. Lilleker & Jennifer Lees-Marshment;
2. Political marketing in the UK: A positive start but an uncertain future – Jennifer Lees-Marshment and Darren G. Lilleker;
3. American political marketing: George W. Bush and the Republican; Party – Jonathan Knuckey and Jennifer Lees-Marshment;
4. Canadian political parties: Market-oriented or ideological slagbrains? – Alex Marland;
5. Marketing the message or the messenger? The New Zealand Labour; Party 1990-2003 – Chris Rudd;
6. Political marketing in Irish politics: The case of Sinn Fein – Sean McGough;
7. Political marketing in Germany: The case of the SPD – Charles Lees;
8. The rise and fall of populism in Austria: A political marketing perspective – Andreas Lederer, Fritz Plasser and Christian Scheucher;
9. Change to win? The 2002 general election PT marketing strategy in Brazil – Josiane Cotrim Macieira;
10. The re-launch of the APRA Party: The use of political marketing in Peru in a new political era – Pedro Patron Galindo;
11. Scottish political marketing in a devolved system – Declan Bannon and Robbie Mochrie;
12. Conclusion: Towards a comparative model of party marketing – Darren G. Lilleker & Jennifer Lees-Marshment

Further details on contributors