The Europeanization of Party Politics? Competing Regulatory Paradigms at the Supranational Level

Authors: Ingrid van Biezen and Fransje Molenaar | Published in: West European Politics 35(3), pp. 632-656. | Date of publication: 2012


This paper explores the process of Europeanisation of party politics by examining the regulation of political parties by supranational European organisations. Despite the increased relevance of the regulation of the activity, behaviour, organisation and finances of political parties in European democracies, the supranational dimensions of this phenomenon have hitherto received relatively little systematic scholarly attention. This paper adopts an interdisciplinary perspective, combining approaches from the Europeanisation literature with legal theory and party scholarship. For the purpose of this paper, the rulings and regulations of the European Union, the various organs of the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights are analysed. The paper highlights the horizontal and vertical patterns of norm creation and diffusion and demonstrates that, despite a certain convergence of European standards, conceptions of democracy and corresponding regulatory paradigms have not become so similar as to be virtually indistinguishable from one another.

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