The Relevance of Mass Party Organizations

Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Stephen

in The Strain of Representation

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652785
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744907 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

The Relevance of Mass Party Organizations

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This chapter analyses the party-level sources of party-voter agreement by focusing on the relevance of mass organizations, which have historically been the functional linchpin of the party representation model. Surprisingly, however, the research literature contains hardly any analysis of their capacity to bring about party-voter agreement. The results show that mass organizations are vital in bringing about congruence to diverse voter groups in Western Europe. In Central-Eastern Europe, in contrast, they do not have any effect at all on party-voter distances, not even between parties and their own partisan voters. The results of this chapter show that the mechanisms of representation are very different across the region, despite overall similar levels of congruence.

Keywords: representation; congruence; mass organisation; dealignment; Europe; Western Europe; Eastern Europe

Chapter.  9150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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