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 Futures Lab 2020

Disintermediation: A Pattern of Party Change in New Parties?

Comparative Politics
Political Participation
Political Parties
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Daniela R. Piccio
Università degli Studi di Torino
Panel Co-Chair
Cecilia Biancalana
Université de Lausanne
Panel Discussant
Oscar Mazzoleni
Université de Lausanne

24/08/2018 14:00 - 15:40
Building: VMP 8 Floor: Ground Room: 06
Disintermediation can be considered as an increasingly relevant phenomenon in contemporary society. When one thinks about the changes occurred in commerce, business, journalism, or communication, it is impossible not to notice a growing trend towards more direct and less mediated relationships, also fostered by the Internet. Such a trend is also affecting political party organizations. Indeed, in recent years, party scholars have pointed to some apparently contradictory developments, that have often been treated separately. On the one hand, a concentration of power and visibility in the hands of the leader has been acknowledged (i.e.: personalisation and presidentialisation of politics); on the other hand, scholars have observed the increasing opening up of internal decision-making procedures to members, or even supporters, through “direct democracy” mechanisms and/or the use of the Internet. The result of this dual trend is what we define as disintermediation: the creation of an (apparently?) direct linkage between party leadership and supporters and, more broadly, between citizens and political power. Disintermediation, in other words, implies a transformation of the forms of political mediation towards more direct and unmediated relationships, challenging political parties as organizational structures between citizens and the state and as agents of political representation. New parties seems more likely to take advantage of such changes. They are not bound to the tradition of the structured mass parties, and they often emerged in overt opposition to the older decision-making structures of party organizations. The aim of the panel is to propose a theoretical basis for this phenomenon and to focus on the rhetorics and practices of disintermediation in new parties, in order to explore the different responses that they have been enacting in order to bypass classical mediated practices of party organizations. Is disintermediation affecting all the parties likewise? Which is the role of the spread of digital media in these processes? And finally, does disintermediation bring forward a genuine direct linkage between leaders and supporters, or does it favour some actors at the expense of others?

Paper List

Title Details
Disintermediation in New and Mainstream Parties: Myth or Reality? View Paper Details
Parties, Institutions and Organizational Change: Quid Prius? View Paper Details
Political Disintermediation: Towards an Analytical Framework View Paper Details
Populist Discourse on Political Representation View Paper Details
War Machine or Simply Party Disintermediation? Podemos and the Organisational Consequences of Digital Tools for New Movement Parties View Paper Details
Share this page