Chapter

Parties Without Members?

Susan E. Scarrow

in Parties Without Partisans

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253098
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599026 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199253099.003.0005

Series: Comparative Politics

Parties Without Members?

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Examines how parties have fared as membership organizations over the past half century. The most comprehensive series of party‐reported membership and survey data for the OECD nations finds that party membership rolls generally had decreased by the end of the 1990s. The chapter concludes by investigating the extent to which membership declines have diminished the organizational capacity of local parties and with a warning against overstating either the rise or obsolescence of membership‐based party organizing. It is true that membership parties are not what they once were, but it is also the case that strong membership parties were never as widespread as some accounts suggest.

Keywords: Maurice Duverger; mass parties; OECD; organizations; party function; party membership; political parties

Chapter.  9858 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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