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Travelling concepts of party institutionalization? A comparative perspective

  • Kristina WeissenbachEmail author
  • Sebastian U. Bukow
Aufsätze
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Abstract

Concepts of party institutionalization and party change were developed during the 1980s with regard to the European mass party model of party organization. Since then we have been observing the breakthrough of new political parties from the whole political spectrum in both, ‘established’ and ‘young’ democracies. But the birth and institutionalization of parties has been analyzed separately in different world regions. The focus of analysis in these research studies is either on Western parties and established party systems or on parties and party systems in ‘young’ democracies.

We argue that we should integrate this coexisting research to get a better understanding for the context-specific aspects of a party’s first steps of establishment in the party system.

This article, first, gives a review on the main analytical concepts of party institutionalization and party change and clarifies how they travelled through different world regions. Second, it discusses the approaches and outcomes of the different contribution made to this special issue. Where do we find commonalities and differences in the analytical concepts – and in their applying in different world regions? How can the comparative analysis of party institutionalization processes benefit from these findings?

It is our primary contention in this article, as well as in the entire special issue, that the building of concepts and theory on the institutionalization of political parties can be enhanced by bringing together the research on party institutionalization and party change in different world regions (areas) and by recognizing, that it is a multi-dimensional (objective, internal and external) and sequential process. Therefore we seek a unified language to talk about party institutionalization and clearer boundaries of the concept when we analyze it comparatively in different areas of the world.

Keywords

Party institutionalization Party change New parties Party origin Cross-regional analysis 

Konzepte der Parteieninstitutionalisierung. Eine vergleichende Perspektive

Zusammenfassung

Konzepte, die Institutionalisierung und Wandel von Parteien erklären, wurden in den 1980er Jahren ursprünglich vor dem Hintergrund des Modells der Massenpartei und mit europäisch-westlicher Perspektive auf die Entstehungs- und Verankerungsphasen von Parteien entwickelt. Seither – und vor allem in den letzten fünf Jahren – können wir vermehrt das Aufkommen neuer Parteien in ‚etablierten’ wie in ‚jungen’ Demokratien beobachten. Dennoch wird in diesen ‚verschiedenen Welten’ (areas) mehr oder weniger getrennt voneinander die Entstehung und Institutionalisierung von Parteien untersucht. Die Forschung konzentriert sich dabei entweder auf Parteien und ‚etablierte’ Parteiensysteme westlichen Typs oder auf Parteien und Parteiensysteme in ‚jungen’ Demokratien.

Diese Parallelität der Forschungslinien möchten wir – in diesem Aufsatz und im gesamten Sonderheft – überwinden und damit einen wichtigen theoretischen Beitrag zur Parteieninstitutionalisierungsforschung in unterschiedlichen Regionen leisten.

In einem ersten Schritt diskutiert der Beitrag die zentralen Konzepte der Parteieninstitutionalisierungs- und Party Change-Forschung und legt dar, wie sie Anwendung in unterschiedlichen Regionen finden. Zweitens, stellen wir die Ansätze und Ergebnisse der Beiträge dieses Sonderheftes vor. Wo finden sich Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede der Analysezugänge – und ihrer Anwendung in unterschiedlichen Regionen? Und wie können die Erkenntnisse für die komparative Forschung von Parteieninstitutionalisierungsprozessen fruchtbar gemacht werden?

Wir argumentieren, dass die Weiterentwicklung von Ansätzen und Theorien zur Institutionalisierung von Parteien in unterschiedlichen Regionen davon profitiert, wenn Party Change- und Parteieninstitutionalisierungskonzepte zusammen gedacht werden. Wir benötigen zudem einheitliche Begriffe, wenn wir über Institutionalisierungsprozesse sprechen und eine klare Definition der Grenzen des Konzepts. Parteieninstitutionalisierung verstehen wir in diesem Sonderheft als den multidimensionalen (objektiven, internen, externen) und sequentiellen Entwicklungsprozess von der frühen Formierung einer Partei zur Institution (‚institution-hood’).

Schlüsselwörter

Parteieninstitutionalisierung Party Change Neue Parteien Parteigründung Cross-regional analysis 

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Further Reading

  1. Cross, William P., and Richard S. Katz. 2013. The challenges of intra-party democracy. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Political Science, NRW School of GovernanceUniversität Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany
  2. 2.Party Research Institute (PRuF)Heinrich-Heine-Universität DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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