Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.658397
Title: The effect of electoral institutions on party membership in central and east Europe
Author: Smith, Alison F.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
Party membership levels in the new democracies of central and east European were predicted to remain universally low, stymied by post-communist legacies, the availability of state funding and the prevalence of mass media communications (van Biezen, 2003; Kopecký, 2007). However, more than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, membership levels vary considerably between countries, and also between individual parties within party systems. Using freshly gathered party membership data, elite surveys and interviews, this thesis explores a number of institutional hypotheses to test whether, as in western democracies, electoral institutions influence how parties organise and campaign. This thesis finds that national electoral systems, municipal electoral rules and business funding regulations have an observable impact on how parties use their members. In particular, 'decentralised' electoral systems encourage greater involvement of members in voter contacting and other small campaign tasks. This thesis concludes that, contrary to the dominant literature, the availability of state funding has little impact on party membership recruitment. Instead, central and east European parties' attitudes to members are shaped by a complex interaction of institutional, cultural, ideological and strategic factors.
Supervisor: Chaisty, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.658397  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science ; Democratic government ; European democracies ; Politics ; Comparative Government ; Electoral Institutions ; Electoral Systems ; Party Funding Regulation ; Democratisation ; Central and East Europe
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