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Parties Without PartisansPolitical Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies$
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Russell J. Dalton and Martin P. Wattenberg

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199253099.001.0001

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Parties Without Members?

Parties Without Members?

Party Organization in a Changing Electoral Environment

Chapter:
(p.79) 5 Parties Without Members?
Source:
Parties Without Partisans
Author(s):

Susan E. Scarrow (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199253099.003.0005

Examines how parties have fared as membership organizations over the past half century. The most comprehensive series of party‐reported membership and survey data for the OECD nations finds that party membership rolls generally had decreased by the end of the 1990s. The chapter concludes by investigating the extent to which membership declines have diminished the organizational capacity of local parties and with a warning against overstating either the rise or obsolescence of membership‐based party organizing. It is true that membership parties are not what they once were, but it is also the case that strong membership parties were never as widespread as some accounts suggest.

Keywords:   Maurice Duverger, mass parties, OECD, organizations, party function, party membership, political parties

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