Is the Australian political system in crisis? The paradox of parties argues that despite the many claims that our party system is overloaded and in crisis, it is actually remarkably durable.

The paradox of parties examines how well the three major parties, the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the Liberals and the Nationals, have adapted to economic and social changes. The results are mixed. For the ALP and the Liberals in particular, declining and ageing memberships have been a problem. Like the rest of Australian political culture, all three parties are masculinist in nature and the ALP’s attempts to provide a structural solution have been unsuccessful. Yet these parties still dominate Australian politics and are likely to do so into the future.

With contributions from leading political practitioners and local and international political commentators, The paradox of parties is essential reading for anyone interested in Australian politics today.