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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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From Social Integration to Electoral Contestation

From Social Integration to Electoral Contestation

The Changing Distribution of Power within Political Parties

(p.129) 7 From Social Integration to Electoral Contestation
Parties Without Partisans

Susan E. Scarrow (Contributor Webpage)

Paul Webb (Contributor Webpage)

David M. Farrell

Oxford University Press

Assembles new cross‐national evidence on changes in the internal distribution of power within political parties. It hypothesizes that ongoing changes in candidate selection, leadership selection, and policy‐making enable more party supporters to participate in party decision‐making, but that these changes may coincide with a strengthening of central party powers. The chapter concludes that grass‐roots party members (and sometimes even non‐member supporters) commonly play a significant role in selecting legislative candidates and in legitimizing election programmes, though party elites generally retain vetoes over candidate‐selection and enjoy considerable autonomy in shaping party policy. However, the remains of the classic mass party model are especially evident in the significant number of parties that have congress delegates decide on the question of leadership. In these cases, the influence of the sub‐leadership stratum has not been completely eroded. Although patterns are mixed, there are now more instances around the democratic world where party leaders operate a coalition of power in which grass‐roots members are significant junior partners.

Keywords:   candidate selection, decision‐making, election programmes, elites, leadership selection, mass parties, membership, party structure, policy‐making, political parties

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