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

Parties'' colonization of the state and (party) democracy in Europe.

Piero Ignazi
Università di Bologna
Piero Ignazi
Università di Bologna
Open Panel

Abstract

In this paper I argue that European parties are facing a crisis of legitimacy due to their uneasy relationship with the post-modern, post-industrial society. Parties tried to counteract the difficulty in getting the confidence from the society (as the decline in members, party identifiers and militants assess beyond the survey evidence of the collapse in the party’s esteem ) by acquiring and increasing their material resources. For this aim they attempt at colonizing the state. The interpenetration between parties and the state suggested by Katz and Mair (1995) seems now accomplished everywhere. In this passage parties are now richer and even more powerful. But this has further depressed the confidence by the citizens. In order to escape from this vicious circle parties have introduced some changes providing members with more say in the decision-making process and in the candidate and leader selection. But up to now these innovations have not revitalized so much parties, nor recovered their image. The paper will present some evidence a) of the colonization of the state by the parties; b) of the reforms introduced to ease internal participation and access from the civil society. And finally it will discuss the parties’ present status of public confidence and internal democracy.