Well-functioning political parties are essential components of democracy. They organize voters, aggregate and articulate interests, craft policy alternatives, recruit and socialize new candidates for office, set policy-making agendas, integrate disparate groups and individuals into the democratic process, and provide the basis for coordinated electoral and legislative activity. But political parties in many developing democracies remain weak and underdeveloped, often being based around personal, ethnic or regional ties rather than national interests.
Today, with more states deciding their leaders through multiparty elections than ever before, many developing democracies seek to shape the development of political parties and party systems by regulating the way parties can form, organize and behave. Most of these ambitious initiatives and innovations emanate from new democracies rather than established Western examples. This volume examines this growing trend in conflict-prone societies towards promoting stable and inclusive political parties via political party regulation and engineering in developing democracies around the world.
Benjamin Reilly is Director of the Centre for Democratic Institutions and Professor of Political Science in the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University.
Per Nordlund, PhD, is Senior Programme Manager for International IDEA’s initiative on Research and Dialogue with Political Parties.
Part I: Introduction
Part II: Regional experiences
Part III: Thematic perspectives