Lecture 1 (sept 13th, 2010): introduction to the course. Support/trust in political parties has gone from 30% in 1979 to 7% in 1991. Rise of social groups and single-purpose organizations may have played a part. The more highly educated are leaving party politics for social group politics, thinking they can make a greater impact via that course. Studies show that voter turnout is down in 18/20 western states. Parties are less able now to mobilize people to vote. Remarkable: parties are adept at adjusting and adapting to changes in society. Access to the internet; used by parties. Authors: demographic shifts, globalization, international migration, increasing affluence, technological change and growth of bureaucratic power presents greatest threat to parties in 150 years. All of these changes (save for the last) have happened in the past; take migration for example: much lower now than in the past.