From Social Integration to Electoral Contestation

Susan E. Scarrow, Paul Webb and David M. Farrell

in Parties Without Partisans

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

Series: Comparative Politics

From Social Integration to Electoral Contestation

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Assembles new cross‐national evidence on changes in the internal distribution of power within political parties. It hypothesizes that ongoing changes in candidate selection, leadership selection, and policy‐making enable more party supporters to participate in party decision‐making, but that these changes may coincide with a strengthening of central party powers. The chapter concludes that grass‐roots party members (and sometimes even non‐member supporters) commonly play a significant role in selecting legislative candidates and in legitimizing election programmes, though party elites generally retain vetoes over candidate‐selection and enjoy considerable autonomy in shaping party policy. However, the remains of the classic mass party model are especially evident in the significant number of parties that have congress delegates decide on the question of leadership. In these cases, the influence of the sub‐leadership stratum has not been completely eroded. Although patterns are mixed, there are now more instances around the democratic world where party leaders operate a coalition of power in which grass‐roots members are significant junior partners.

Keywords: candidate selection; decision‐making; election programmes; elites; leadership selection; mass parties; membership; party structure; policy‐making; political parties

Chapter.  10965 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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