The Evolution of National Party Organizations

Paul S. Herrnson

in The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199542628
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 The Evolution of National Party Organizations

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This article describes the development of national party organizations, their relationship with other party committees, and their evolving role in contemporary elections. Changes in the parties' environment and internal governance fostered the emergence of a candidate-centered election system. The institutionalization of the national party organizations refers to their becoming fiscally solvent, organizationally stable, larger and more diversified in their staffing, and adopting professional-bureaucratic decision-making procedures. The institutionalization of the national party organizations has provided them with the resources to develop a variety of state and local party-building programs. Major national party organizational change usually occurs in response to electoral instability and political unrest. The reemergence of national party organizations has resulted in their becoming important players in twenty-first-century party politics and elections.

Keywords: national party organizations; party committees; contemporary elections; internal governance; institutionalization; elections; party politics

Article.  7667 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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