Does intra-party democracy affect levels of trust in parties? The cases of Belgium and Israel
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
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
- Bernardi, L., G. Sandri, and A. Seddone. 2016. Challenges of political participation and intra-party democracy: Bittersweet symphony from party membership and primary elections in Italy. Acta Politica Google Scholar
- Cain, B., R.J. Dalton, and S. Scarrow (eds.). 2003. Democracy Transformed? The Expansion of Citizen Access in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Channel 7. 2011. MK Ben-Ari: Only open primaries will restore the public’s trust. Chanel 7 report, 14 June, http://news.xoox.co.il/item_648777.htm. Accessed 5 May 2015.
- Dalton, R.J., and M. Wattenberg (eds.). 2000. Parties Without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Devos, C., and T. Verstraete. 2002. Valsheid in geschrifte? Over kieshervorming en inspraak. Samenleving en Politiek 10 (9): 4–12.Google Scholar
- Duverger, M. 1951. Les Partis Politiques. Paris: Colin.Google Scholar
- Easton, D. 1965. A Framework for Political Analysis. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Gilliland, S.W. 1993. The perceived fairness of selection systems: An organizational justice perspective. Academy of Management Review 18 (4): 694–734.Google Scholar
- Hazan, R.Y. 2002. Candidate Selection. In Comparing Democracies 2: New Challenges in the Study of Elections and Voting, ed. L. LeDuc, R.G. Niemi, and P. Norris, 108–126. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Inglehart, R. 1997. Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic, and Political Change in 43 societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Katz, R.S. 2013. Should we believe that improved intra-party democracy would arrest party decline? In The Challenges of Intra-Party Democracy, eds. W.P. Cross and R.S. Katz. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kernell, G. 2013. Political party organizations, civic representation, and participation. In Representation: Elections and Beyond, ed. J.H. Nagel, and R.M. Smith, 114–136. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
- Lev, H. 2015. The New Likudniks Against Changing the System Chanel 7, April 26, http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/297250.
- Newton, K., and P. Norris. 2000. Confidence in public institutions: Faith, culture, or performance? In Disaffected Democracies: What's Troubling the Trilateral Countries, eds. S.J. Pharr and R.D. Putnam, 52–73. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Norris, P. (ed.). 1999. Critical Citizens: Global confidence in Democratic Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Pilet, J.B., and W. Cross (eds.). 2014. The Selection of Political Party Leaders in Contemporary Parliamentary Democracies: A Comparative Study. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Sandri, G., and A. Amjahad. 2015. Party membership and Intra-party democracy: How do members react to organizational change within political parties? The case of Belgium. The Open Journal of Sociopolitical Studies 8 (1): 190–214.Google Scholar
- Scarrow, S.E. 2005. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives: Implementing Intra-Party Democracy Washington DC: National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.Google Scholar
- Shapira, A., O. Kenig, and R. Itzkovitch-Malka. 2010. Intra-party democracy: theory and practice in Israel’s party law. Working paper by the Israel Democracy Institute.Google Scholar
- Shomer, Y., Put, G.J., and Gedalya-Lavy, E. (2016) Intra-Party Politics and Public Opinion: How Candidate Selection Processes Affect Citizens’ Satisfaction with Democracy. Political Behavior 38 (3): 509–534.Google Scholar
- Scarrow, S.E., P. Webb, and D.M. Farrell. 2000. From social integration to electoral contestation: The changing distribution of power within political parties. In Parties Without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies, ed. R.J. Dalton, and M.P. Wattenberg, 129–153. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Van der Meer, T., and P. Dekker. 2011. Trustworthy States, Trusting Citizens? A multilevel study into objective and subjective determinants of political trust. In Political Trust. Why Context Matters, ed. S. Zmerli, and M. Hooghe, 95–116. Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
- Van Haute, E., and A. Gauja. 2015. Party Members and Activists. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Verleden, F. 2013. De toegang tot de parlementaire elite. Politieke rekrutering en lijstvorming in België in historisch perspectief. Paper Presented at the Dutch-Belgian Politicologenetmaal, Ghent, 30-31 May.Google Scholar
- Verter, Y. (1997). Likud Ministers are Angry: Netanyahu Deceived Us. Haaretz November 12, http://old.haaretz.co.il/arch/objects/pages/ArchPrintArticpel.jhtml.