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The business firm model of party organisation: cases from Spain and Italy

Hopkin, Jonathan and Paolucci, Caterina (1999) The business firm model of party organisation: cases from Spain and Italy. European Journal of Political Research, 35 (3). pp. 307-339. ISSN 0304-4130

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1475-6765.00451


Discussion of new forms of party organisation have largely focused on the ways in which institutionalised parties have adapted to pressures towards ‘catch-all’ or ‘electoralprofessional’ behaviour. This article examines the ways in which new parties respond to these pressures. A model of the ‘party as business firm’ is generated from rational choice assumptions and it is suggested that such a model can emerge when new party systems are created in advanced societies. Two cases of political parties which resemble the business firm model in important ways are analysed in order to gauge the consequences of this type of party organisation: UCD in Spain and Forza Italia in Italy. On the basis of this analysis it is argued that business firm parties are likely to be electorally unstable and politically incoherent, and also prone to serving particularistic interests.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers
Divisions: Government
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
D History General and Old World > DP Spain
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2009 11:33
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:33

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