ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Czech Political Parties and their Congresses

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Party Manifestos
Political Competition
Political Leadership
Political Parties
Political Sociology
Party Members
Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Michel Perottino
Charles University
Michel Perottino
Charles University

Abstract

Political parties are classically analysed from the point of view of their organization, their membership or their programs for instance. One of the most important (at least symbolically) moment of their existence, the parties' congresses, seems nevertheless to be hard to understand and to explain. How shall political scientist cope with this quite ephemeral moment. In reality the congresses are very different not only from a party to another but also in the time (considering quantitative and above all qualitative criterions, the elites, their interests and calculs, the struggle for the power inside the party, the need to communicate with media and the voters and so on). The use of congresses are quite different (for instance considering the periodicity, from four years to two congresses In a year). The program of the congress (and the eventual capacity to change it), the way to vote, the role played by delegates and their ability to act and react, the presentation of the party's "world" (the affiliated organization, their "social" identity) and so on are crucial details that help to understand the reality of the party life, as a condensed moment when the party politics theory get "real". This proposal is a result of a more than ten years research and analysis of more than thirty Czech political parties’ congresses we attended to (mainly ODS, ČSSD, KDU-ČSL, Zelení, KSČM, TOP 09). We will try to present a general perspective, starting with the common principles (especially those given by the law, but also by the organizational needs) but also by focusing on the specificities of those congresses in the frame of a more general theory.