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Title: Regional organisation in the Conservative and Labour parties
Author: Wilson, David Jack
ISNI:       0000 0000 8181 8154
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1974
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This study examines a hitherto neglected dimension of party organisation In Britain: the Conservative Party's area organisation and the Labour Party's regional structure. It is designed to extend our knowledge of party organisation by providing a detailed analysis of activity at this intermediate organisational level, which lies between the respective national party machines on the one hand and constituency associations on the other. Research into regional and area organisation clarifies the nature and extent of centralisation in the Conservative and Labour Parties. The thesis argues that both the Conservative and Labour Parties established regional organising unite primarily for reasons of political and administrative expediency. This pragmatism has characterised the subsequent evolution of regional and area machinery. Regional and area organisers act as the field administrative agents of their respective head offices. They spend much of their time working at the constituency and city party levels but have little formal authority; they must, in general, rely on informal influence to achieve their objectives. They cannot act as centralising agents for their parties because although their own relationship with the centre is tightly controlled, they themselves lack authority at the local level. There is no chain of command from the respective party leaderships to constituency and branch levels via regional and area organisers. The chain of command from the centre ends at the regional level. The democratic party structure at the regional and area level is largely dominated by the professional organisers in both parties although Conservative area chairmen can be figures of some importance. A case study of the 1970 General Election provides a detailed analysis of the work undertaken by regional and area staff. There is also a discussion of the different organisational emphases stemming from the Conservative Party's greater professionalism at the constituency level. It is argued that while the Labour Party clearly requires its regional network the Conservative Party's need for an extensive area structure is questionable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JF Political institutions (General) ; JN101 Great Britain