Political Parties as Campaign Organizations

David M. Farrell and Paul Webb

in Parties Without Partisans

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253098
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599026 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Political Parties as Campaign Organizations

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Considers the organizational consequences for parties of the professionalization of election campaigning. This process has gone through three main stages, from pre‐modern, through the TV‐dominated modern stage, and onto the current advanced‐modern stage of campaigning personified by the use of new telecommunications technology. The chapter shows party organizations to be highly adaptive, investing heavily in time and resources in the new campaign techniques, professionalizing, and centralizing their organizations (particularly around their top leaderships), and paying far more attention to image and specific campaign issues as opposed to traditional ideological standpoints. There has been a shift from parties selling themselves to voters to designing an appropriate product to match voter needs. Because of these changes, contemporary political parties have repositioned themselves to survive the uncertainties of operating as representative institutions in the increasingly participatory age of the end of the millennium.

Keywords: campaigns; cartel parties; centralization; elections; image; issues; mass media; party leadership; professionalization; television

Chapter.  11428 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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