The organizational strength of local party organizations in FlandersReportar como inadecuado

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(2016)ASSP Congress 2016, Proceedings.p.1-30 Mark abstract Local party systems in Western democracies are often characterized by the presence of so-called ‘independent’ or ‘nonpartisan’ actors competing for local powers with local chapters of national parties. While local party branches are generally considered as institutionalized, long-term organizations with a stable organizational structure, independent lists have been criticized for being short-term and only loosely structured political groups with little representative accountability (Soos, 2005; Steyvers, Reynaert, Ceuninck, Valcke, & Verhelst, 2008). Other authors however, argue that the organizational characteristics of independent lists have evolved over time and today these lists diverge less from their national counterparts than previously assumed (Reiser, 2008; Van Tilburg & Tops, 1990). Yet, empirical research to substantiate these assumptions is deficient and our academic understanding of independent local lists is highly distorted by the simplified dichotomy between independent local lists and national party branches which neglects a variety of border cases. Moreover, the role and organizational characteristics of national party branches has changed drastically in recent decades, with the decline of membership figures and the decreasing public support for political parties. This paper aims to contribute to our academic understanding of non-national lists and their role in the evolving landscape of political parties. Based on a mixed methods approach this paper assesses the organizational strength of different types of non-national lists in Flanders.

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Autor: An Heyerick



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