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Party Affiliation and Leadership Strategies

Comparative Politics
Political Parties
Party Members
P292
Oscar Mazzoleni
Université de Lausanne
Gerrit Voerman
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Building: Faculty of Arts, Floor: Ground, Room: FA018

Friday 17:40 - 19:20 (09/09/2016)


Abstract

Increasingly interest in party membership has been devoted by political science and political sociology in the last decades (e.g. Van Biezen, Mair and Poguntke 2011, Scarrow 2014, Kölln 2014, Van Haute & Gauja 2015). This literature, in which the main research questions are which citizens involve in party politics and why, tends to confirm the hypothesis of declining and transforming trends in party membership, in particular in the Western European countries. At the same time, it is also recognised that party membership recovers a wide range of – sometimes overlapping – affiliations varying in time and space (among parties, among party systems, in the present and in the past), like (in)formal members, (in)direct members, sympathizers, supporters, etcetera (Scarrow 2014, Gauja 2014). However, less attention has been devoted to the leadership strategies shaping these different forms of affiliation within party organisations. Why and how does the party leadership creates and maintains these forms of affiliation or perhaps undermines them? To what extent does enrolment – more or less formalized – correspond to these ‘top-down’ strategies, both in terms of local campaigners and communicators with voters, but also of democratic legitimation of party organization (Pettitt 2014: 94-5)? Case-studies and comparative works, including those providing an historical perspective, are welcome. The focus is on the Western European countries but also on other democratic regimes around the world.

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