Chapter

Party organization and leadership

Elisabeth Carter

in The Extreme Right in Western Europe

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780719070488
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719070488.003.0003
Party organization and leadership

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This chapter describes the impact of the parties' organizational structures and leaderships on their electoral performance. It explains the ways in which organization and leadership may affect the success of parties at the polls. Three different types of right-wing extremist parties may be identified: (1) weakly organized, poorly led and divided parties, (2) weakly organized, poorly led but united parties, and (3) strongly organized, well-led but factionalized parties. It presents various examples that show that for many of the extreme right parties in Western Europe weak leadership and weak party organization have led to factionalism, be it of an ideological, a strategic or a personal variety. It is suggested that the degree of party factionalism is not an important factor in determining whether parties of the extreme right encounter success or failure at the polls.

Keywords: organizational structures; leadership; extreme right parties; Western Europe; party organization; party factionalism; polls; right-wing extremist parties; electoral performance

Chapter.  17953 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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