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Organizing Political PartiesRepresentation, Participation, and Power$
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Susan E. Scarrow, Paul D. Webb, and Thomas Poguntke

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198758631.001.0001

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Which Face Comes First? The Ascendancy of the Party in Public Office

Which Face Comes First? The Ascendancy of the Party in Public Office

Chapter:
(p.62) 3 Which Face Comes First? The Ascendancy of the Party in Public Office
Source:
Organizing Political Parties
Author(s):

Luciano Bardi

Enrico Calossi

Eugenio Pizzimenti

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198758631.003.0003

Recently, students of European parties have come to agree that organizational power has been concentrating in the party in public office (PPO), whose particular interests and objectives shape those of the party at large. This process of growing autonomy of the PPO—hypothesized by Katz and Mair—goes hand in hand with that of party penetration of the state and with a corresponding decline of party presence within civil society. This chapter aims to verify, empirically, if the PPO is indeed moving in the direction of becoming the strongest party organizational ‘face’. It also investigates whether the degree of ascendancy of the PPO varies 1) across parties and 2) across countries. To this end, it analyses persistence and change in party organizations across ten European countries, from the 1970s to 2010, using data from the Political Party Database Project (PPDB) and comparable data from the Party Organizations Data Handbook.

Keywords:   change in party organizations, organizational power, PPO, party penetration of the state, party presence in civil society, PPDB

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