Party rules, party resources, and the politics of parliamentary democracies: how parties organize in the 21st Century

Poguntke, Thomas, Scarrow, Susan E and Webb, Paul D (2016) Party rules, party resources, and the politics of parliamentary democracies: how parties organize in the 21st Century. Party Politics, 22 (6). pp. 661-678. ISSN 1460-3683

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This article introduces the first findings of the Political Party Database (PPDB) project, a major survey of party organizations in parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies. The project’s first round of data covers 122
parties in 19 countries. In this paper we describe the scope of the database, then investigate what it tells us about contemporary party organization in these countries, focussing on parties’ resources, structures and internal decision-making. We examine organizational patterns by
country and party family, and where possible we make temporal comparisons with older datasets. Our analyses suggest a remarkable coexistence of uniformity and diversity. In terms of the major organizational resources on which parties can draw, such as members, staff and finance, the new evidence largely confirms the continuation of trends identified in previous research: i.e., declining membership, but enhanced financial resources and more paid staff. We also find remarkable uniformity regarding the core architecture of party organizations. At the same time, however, we find substantial variation between countries and
party families in terms of their internal processes, with particular regard to how internally democratic they are, and in the forms that this democratization takes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Party organization, Party strength, Intra-party democracy, Party membership, Party finance
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General) > JF1338 Public administration > JF2011 Political parties
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Depositing User: Paul Webb
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2016 09:49
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 18:36

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
The Political Party Database Project: How Parties Shape DemocracyG1333ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCILES/L016613/1