The Limits of Regulation: Party Law and Finance in Slovakia (1990-2012)

Authors: Fernando Casal B?rtoa, Kevin Deegan-Krause, Peter U?en | Published in: working paper series on the legal regulation of political parties, no. 23, May. | Date of publication: 2012

It is one of the paradoxes of democracy that we together create rules to bind our own hands. At the heart of democratic competition are political parties-Kelsen argued nearly a century ago that "only self-deception or hypocrisy can lead one to believe that democracy is possible without political parties" (1981 [1929]:92) and Schattschneider affirmed that "political parties created democracy and modern democracy in unthinkable save in terms of the parties" (1942:1). Moves by parties to restrict party behaviors are thus crucial both for understanding what is possible in a given democracy and for shedding light on democracy itself functions. The detailed regulation of political parties must find the delicate balance between a too-narrow restriction of party activity, and a too generous permission that may lend itself to overextension.
But for all the importance of the topic of party regulation, few have been the scholars examining the specific content of party regulations and almost nonexistent are the works that try to study the consequences of such regulation at the systemic level.

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