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Candidate Selection Changes and Representative Democracy Crisis

Political Parties
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Gert-Jan Put
University of Leuven
Panel Co-Chair
Audrey Vandeleene
Ghent University
Panel Discussant
Gert-Jan Put
University of Leuven

05/09/2019 09:00 - 10:40
Building: (Building A) Faculty of Law, Administration & Economics Floor: 3rd floor Room: 309
Representative democracies are said to be in crisis due, among other factors, to a higher degree of mistrust from citizens towards political institutions. Political parties as major institutions of the representative system are not spared by this worsening of the relationship between the represented and the representatives. Anti-system parties are on the rise and traditional parties would have to reinvent themselves and the way they are organised.

In this context, the panel seeks to shed light on a core function of political parties, i.e. selecting candidates who will run for office. Through candidate selection, parties directly affect the representative link between the electorate and the representatives since all MPs have been selected as a candidate before their election to parliament. This panel questions the ways in which candidate selection methods have evolved over time. Do parties adapt their candidate selection modes due to an alleged crisis of representative democracy? And are these procedural reforms effective in improving the democratic attitudes of citizens?

In addition, political parties may follow the alternative strategy of changing their selected candidates’ sociology. Nominating more candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups (e.g. young candidates, women, candidates with migrant background), or increasing the level of candidate turnover on the lists are two examples of the latter approach. The panel welcomes both case studies and comparative works, and is open to all methodological approaches.

Paper List

Title Details
Candidacy Eligibility Criteria and Party Unity View Paper Details
Candidate Recruitment: Does Digitalisation Decrease Representation? View Paper Details
Do More Inclusive Selectorates Use Different Selection Criteria? Evidence from District Nominations for the German Bundestag View Paper Details
Future Party Leaders or Burned Out? A Study of the Leading Members of the Political Parties’ Youth Organisations in Sweden View Paper Details
Political Ethnic Stereotypes and the Underrepresentation of Ethnic Minority Men: An Experimental Survey View Paper Details
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