Political Parties: The Carte Party Essay

Political Parties: The Carte Party Essay

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Political parties have been in a declining state in recent political evolution and has provoked numerous discussions/arguments whether the political parties have been indeed in such a state or whether they have been simply restructuring their organisational and/or ideological principles to withstand certain challenges. Several theories were introduced/developed in the recent years so as to distinguish the “ideal” behavioural type of political party development. The most renowned “ideal” party types are the cadre party type, the mass party type (Duverger, 1954) and the catch-all party type (Kirchheimer, 1966). Nevertheless, a recent theory regarding party types proposed initially by Richard Katz and Peter Mair (1995) was the “Cartel Party” which also drew a lot of academic interest. The “Cartel Party” is a new model of political party development suggested by Richard Katz & Peter Mair (1995) as the last decades the electoral support and partisanship levels have been decreasing substantially, while voter volatility increased; thus political parties began to seek state subsidies and other much needed resources directly through the state, in order to secure “control” of the electoral rules, subsidies from the state and the media as well. Concomitantly, political parties allegedly employ their domination power to even “control” which new political parties may join the “cartel”, and which are left out of the equation. However, this new prospect within the political parties’ mechanism, ultimately alters their organisational and ideological principles, thus in this way give rise to the so-called “Cartel Parties”. In short, the theory of Cartelisation over the political parties suggested by Katz & Mair propose that political parties progre...


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...al parties are indeed increasingly state-dependent and are even more dependent on public funding since it is a fact that voter-participation is declining, thus they need to exploit any benefits that can be attained to their favour. The oligopolistic notion is sought after by many units within societies, including political parties, but I believe that due to the “control” practiced by the respective institutions in each social sector, it is difficult to promote it (oligopoly) unless these institutions “allow” it to evolve which then would form not only Cartel Parties, but a state-wide cartelisation.



Works Cited

Ashton, Matthew Boyd. An Exploration and Critique of Katz and Mair's Cartel Party Theory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel_party_theory
http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/13410/the-katz-mair-koole-debate-about-cartel-parties
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel

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