Farewell to the Party Model?
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Farewell to the Party Model?

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Marion Reiser
Urban and Regional Research International
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":Local independent lists are a general phenomenon on the local level in many European countries - in established Western countries as well as in new democracies in Middle and Eastern Europe. The research is linked to the much-discussed phenomenon of the growing disenchantment with political parties and the sceptical evaluation of political parties on the local level. Typically, these lists understand themselves as non-parties or anti-parties and therefore assume a contra position in the local party system. The edited book aims first at developing a theoretical and conceptual framework for these non-partisan lists. Second, the contributions describe and analyse for the first time comparatively presence, success, organisational structure, behaviour and performance of these local actors in twelve West and East European countries."
"Theoretical and Conceptual Framework - Local lists in Eastern and Middle European Countries - A Bridging Case? - Local Lists in West European Countries"
Marion Reiser, Everhard Holtmann Local independent lists as political actors are a common phenomenon on the local level in many European countries " in established Western democracies as well as in the "new" democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. In some West European countries, these non-partisan groups have been an established and stable element in the local political system for decades. Ty- cally, they understand themselves as protectors of a harmonious factual political style. In their opinion, good local politics is not compatible with party politics so they consequently perceive themselves as non-parties. During the last two d- ades, presence and success of local lists have steadily increased in these co- tries. Furthermore, during the last years local lists emerged also in countries which had been formerly fully party-politicised on the local level. Explanations offered for these developments are often based on the observation of a general decline of trust in established parties and politicians. Hence, it has been argued that the disenchantment with political parties is a fertile ground for local lists. For the Central and East European countries, this argument can be - ployed only to a certain extent. Local lists established themselves in the early 1990"s as important actors on the local level especially due to a lack of party organisation in the process of democratic consolidation.

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