Party-Building and the Prospects for Democracy

Adrienne LeBas

in From Protest to Parties

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199546862
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728594 | DOI:
Party-Building and the Prospects for Democracy

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The conclusion of the book reflects on the implications of the book’s arguments for theories of democratization and for policies of democracy promotion. Strong opposition parties are necessary for democratization, but the tools used to build strong parties may occasionally trigger conflict and authoritarian backlash. The chapter argues that both conflict and party-building play much more central roles in democratization than earlier models of negotiated – or pacted – transition have recognized. This understanding to democratization has implications for policy-making. Democracy promotion has often focused on strengthening civil society rather than political parties; in addition, there has recently been increased enthusiasm for power-sharing and coalitional arrangements. These policies are not likely to produce strong, rooted political parties, nor do they promote the development of competitive party systems. The chapter concludes with some suggestions of what factors facilitate democratization and the development of rooted party organizations in the long run.

Keywords: democratization; democracy promotion; power-sharing; polarization; conflict; party organization; ethnicity; path dependence

Chapter.  7924 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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