Party Regulation and Constitutionalization: A Comparative Overview

Authors: Ingrid van Biezen | Published in: in Per Nordlund and Ben Reilly (eds.), Political Parties and Democracy in Conflict-Prone Societies: Regulation, Engineering and Democratic Development. Tokyo: UN University Press, pp. 25-47 | Date of publication: 2008


Political parties have traditionally been understood and analyzed primarily in terms of their linkages with society, and the growing disengagement of citizens from conventional politics in recent years is well-documented and explored theoretically and empirically. However, we know comparatively little about the other side of the process of party organizational transformation, i.e. what Katz and Mair have argued consists of a strengthening of their links with the state. Because this relationship traditionally consisted of a linkage between parties and government, rather than the state tout court, it has historically been temporal, contingent and loose. Whereas traditionally the relationship with the state could be used by parties, but were not constitutive of party, in recent years it has assumed an increased importance both in terms of legitimacy and organizational resources.


Download PDF