Unit 4: Political Parties and Organization

Ware CH 3, D/W CH 6 and Katz and Mair (reserves)
Guiding Questions
 What are cartel parties?
 How do they differ from cadre, mass,
and catch all parties?
 How does electoral politics play into
the politics of cartel parties?
What Do Parties Organizations Do?
 Ware 1996
 Party organizations:
 Organize campaigns and elections
 Maintain or build the party membership base
 Determine policies/strategies for office holders.
 But the emphasis that a specific party places on
these functions varies
 Developing new policies is often the least tended to
area of organizational influence
 Particularly amongst parties in opposition
 Advances in technology have privileged the electoral
functions of party organization over other functions.
Elections and Party Organization
 Duverger 1956, Epstein 1967
 Electoral considerations prompts changes in
 Contagion from the left  mass parties/Contagion
from the right  catch-all parties
 Panebianco 1988
 Professionalization of politics pushes emphasis away
from party membership towards political
professionals in the waging of campaigns.
 Push towards electoral-professional parties.
Consequences of Professionalization
 Shift in staffing from local branches to central party
 Central party is dominant
 Elections driven by party leader (i.e. presidentialization).
 Political consultancy has become a major growth
 “Marketing” parties is key.
 Mimicry amongst political parties adapting to new
 Example: Republicans/Democrats on GOTV, Facebook, Twitter
 Public financing of campaigns has shaped the list of
contenders in a much more expensive political
 Some “outside” parties still jump these hurdles.
Mass Parties, Catch-All Parties, and Linkages to Society
 Why does this shift towards electoral politics matter?
 Party research has focused on relationships between parties
and society.
 Neumann 1956
 Mass parties served as political structures which integrated
citizens into political societies.
 Kirchheimer 1966
 Bemoans the demise of mass parties.
 Posits that the switch the catch all parties is problematic from
a societal standpoint.
 Katz and Mair 1997
 Argue that this research ignores relationship between parties
and the state.
 Modern relationships between parties, society and the state
do not sustain mass parties.
 Elections are fought over issues of competence and management
rather than group belonging or identity.
Parties, Civil Society, and the State
 Katz and Mair 1997
 Cadre:
 State/society
interpenetrated by elites;
parties as cliques of
 Trustee form of
 Mass:
 Extension of franchise push
state and society apart;
parties as intermediaries
between the state and
classes in civil society.
 Delegate form of
Parties, Civil Society and the State
Katz and Mair 1997
 State and society separated as
entry into government weakens
ties between party and societal
class groups.
 Parties act as brokers between
state and society which
aggregate demands from
society while justifying policies
from the state.
 Thus, parties are moving closer
towards the state and further
from society.
Entrepreneurial form of
 Contends that parties have
become agents of the state.
Challenges for Catch-All Parties
 Katz and Mair 2009
 Catch all era created new pressures:
Weaker social ties to traditional groupings.
Left-right debate over more services vs. lower taxes/less regulation.
 But the parties’ ability to deliver was undercut by:
1) Moderation of class cleavage made appeals to class less beneficial for
 2) Campaigns shift towards greater professionalization (at greater costs).
 3) Social welfare state no longer economically viable.
 Requires cuts in services or increases in taxes to remain functional
4) Politics as a vocation
 Response:
1) Depoliticize controversial issues/Delegate to non political entities.
2) Use public funding to reduce the costs of defeat.
The Emergence of Political Parties: Stage Four
Cartel Parties (1970-present)
 Katz and Mair 1997
 Characterized by “the interpenetration of party
and state, and also by a pattern of inter-party
 1) Politics as a profession
 Competition based on efficient stewardship.
 2) Managed electoral competition
 Shared sense of survival.
 3) Campaign resources provided by the state
 Campaign resources provided to parties “inside the
 4) Greater rights to participation within party.
 Centralization of party decisions weakens local
party institutions.
The Emergence of Political Parties: Stage Four
Cartel Parties (1970-present)
 Creates a relatively permanent set of “in” parties.
 Campaign finance rules make participation by “out” parties
 Range of issues considered “fair game” for debate is
 Delegation to apolitical entities and norms of “legitimacy”
constrain this debate.
 Electoral results may not always be reflected in
governing coalitions.
 Feedback mechanisms weakened.
 New demands increasingly voiced by interest groups
rather than cartel parties.
 May provide impetus for extreme parties.
Stage Five? New Politics/New Parties
 Poguntke 1987; Harmel 2002
 Counter-response to cartel parties.
 Representing their followers is key (similar to mass
 Originally associated with environmentalism and
postmaterialist movements.
 Some parties of the far left and right are popping up
as “anti-elite” or “anti-cartel” parties.
 Parliamentary leadership (if it exists) is weak.
 Power invested in the localities.
 Some movements have opened up participation
to non-members.
 No developed party has completely adopted
this form.
Next Unit
 Theme: What do parties want?
 Reading:
 Ware CH 11
 Mueller and Strom pgs. 1-27 and 112-140
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