Political Parties: Old Concepts and New Challenges

By Richard Gunther; Jose Ramon Montero et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

2 Parties: Denied, Dismissed, or Redundant? a Critique
Hans DaalderWe all speak about the crisis of party. But are we clear what we mean? A priori normative positions often cloud both our diagnoses and prognoses. In the debate on the crisis of party, I will argue, at least four different bodies of writing are intermingled which should be clearly distinguished:
1 The persistent body of thought which denies a legitimate role for party, and sees parties as a threat to the good society. Such thoughts were nurtured from two sides: lingering authoritarian ideologies on the one hand, and naïve democratic beliefs on the other. I will call these views the denial of party.
2 The views of those who regard certain types of parties as 'good' but other types parties as 'bad'. These writings may be summarized under the label the selective rejection of party.
3 The proposition that certain party systems are 'good' and others are 'bad'. This view will be dealt with under the heading the selective rejection of party systems.
4 The affirmation by those who regard parties as a transient phenomenon, products of a period of mass mobilization which is now a matter of the past. According to this argument, parties are becoming increasingly irrelevant in democratic politics as other actors and institutions have taken over the major functions which parties once played. That body of literature will be analysed under the rubric the redundancy of party.

The Denial of Party

We must first recognize that, comparatively speaking, organized and legitimate political parties are a relatively new phenomenon. David Hume, for instance, could still speak of parties of principle as 'the most extraordinary and unaccountable phenomenon that has yet appeared in human affairs'. In


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Political Parties: Old Concepts and New Challenges


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 361

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?