Does intra-party democracy affect levels of trust in parties? The cases of Belgium and Israel
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Previous research has shown a steady decline of citizen’s political trust and growing skepticism towards key institutions of representative democracy. Political parties, which perform the crucial role of linking citizens to the political system, are in the eye of the storm: citizens are generally more distrusting towards parties than other social and political institutions. The relevant literature mentions that parties often implement intra-party democratization to remedy party distrust. This article examines whether democratic candidate selection processes actually affect party trust among voters. The analysis is based on the cases of Belgium and Israel, where politicians made a strong case for intra-party democracy in recent history. The results indicate that, while inclusive selectorates indeed increase trust levels, decentralization decreases trust towards parties in both countries.
KeywordsCandidate selection Trust in parties Belgium Israel
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