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Building the party on the ground: the role of access to public office for party growth

Poertner, Mathias (2023) Building the party on the ground: the role of access to public office for party growth. Journal of Politics, 85 (4). 1516 - 1528. ISSN 0022-3816

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Identification Number: 10.1086/724961


How is the growth and institutionalization of political parties shaped by access to public office? In this article, I analyze a natural experiment from Mexico, in which a political party used a lottery system to select candidates for national public office, and present new insights into how access to elected office shapes the development of new parties. I find that the party was able to build local party networks by gaining access to office (through elected legislators) that subsequently mobilized new voters for the party. I show that the party was able to institutionalize more successfully and increase its membership base in localities that randomly received access to public office through an elected legislator from the same locality. The findings highlight the importance of access to state resources for the success of new parties and have important implications for debates about democratic representation and accountability.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 Southern Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2023 13:57
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2023 17:03

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