Bolleyer, Nicole2; von Nostitz, Felix-Christopher2; Little, Conor3
1 Institut for Statskundskab, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Institut for Statskundskab, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Organisational Consequences in the Swedish and the German Pirate Parties
This article theorises and empirically assesses some important intra-organisational implications of maximising democratic equality in political parties both between followers and members and between members and elites. They include weak member commitment, passivity of the rank-and-file membership and – depending on party structure – high levels of internal conflict. To substantiate the arguments, two parties that implement principles of democratic equality in their organisations are examined: the Swedish and German Pirate parties. These cases show, first, that while organisational structures implementing norms of equality allowed them to rapidly mobilise a considerable following, the same structures systematically reduced their capacity to consolidate support in the longer term – a weakness that might eventually put these parties' survival at risk. Second, they show that differences in the extent to which subnational units provide a foundation for member mobilisation helps to explain variation in the level of internal conflict experienced by these parties.
Scandinavian Political Studies, 2015, Vol 38, Issue 2, p. 158-178
Faculty of Social Sciences; equality; political parties; democracy; organizational structure; intraorganizational mobility; pluralism; Sweden