Local Parties in Political and Organizational Perspective

By Martin Saiz; Hans Geser | Go to book overview

single-party state, in the early 1990s several Russian politicians and scholars perceived local self-government as an instrument to remove the "etatization" of Soviet society. This interpretation was often still based upon a nonpluralistic understanding of local community and did not take into account possible social differentiation within the communities. However, it is too early to judge whether this pattern will survive in the face of ongoing pluralization of interests within the localities.

Finally, according to the outlined features of the post-Soviet local parties, it must be stated that their organizational power is still very weak. Whereas at the beginning of the social movements their capability to mobilize the population against the authoritarian state was relatively large, at present they hardly succeed in mobilizing the citizenship, which, in reaction to the decline of social security systems, increasingly refuses political participation. Research on the local party system invites the observers of Russian transition to modify their point of view. On the local level, the formation of parties and coalitions present themselves as highly differentiated. Case studies suggest that party platforms often do not play a key role in understanding the behavior and decisionmaking of the deputies. One could find cases in which Communist members cooperated with "democrats" in order to implement economic and political reforms against the resistance of the Communist nomenklatura. At the moment, however, it is almost impossible to take into account all the variables that determine the development of the ever-changing Russian local party system.


Notes
1.
See Ahlberg ( 1985). Butenko's article was published in Voprosy filosofii 10 ( 1982):16-29.
2.
See S'yezda narodnykh deputatori Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR (hereinafter VSVS SSSR) ( 1986), no. 31, st. 593.
3.
This is according to ibid. ( 1988), no. 31, st. 504, and no. 31, st. 505.
4.
Whereas Article 6 fixed the predominance of the Communist Party, Article
51
restricted the freedom of assembly that was guaranteed "in order to strengthen and develop the socialist system." 5. The empirical findings are based on case studies that were executed in Vladimir in September and October 1992 and in April 1994.
6.
VSVS RSFSR ( 1989), no. 44, st. 1306.
7.
In some cities, the voters were given the choice among two or more platforms, for example, among the CPSU, the "Democratic Russia" party, and the Russian patriotic movements.
8.
In the entire RSFSR, in 62.2 percent of all constituencies, only one candidate was nominated. See VSVS RSFSR ( 1990), no. 6, st. 171.

-306-

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Local Parties in Political and Organizational Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Part One - Theoretical Orientation and Empirical Observations 1
  • 1 - The Local Party as an Object of Interdisciplinary Comparative Study 3
  • Notes 37
  • References 39
  • 2 - Local Political Parties in Comparative Perspective 44
  • Notes 70
  • References 71
  • Part Two - Local Political Parties in Local and National Context 75
  • Notes 98
  • References 98
  • 4 - Local Parties in England 101
  • Notes 121
  • 5 - Local Parties in the German Countryside 123
  • Notes 149
  • References 149
  • 6 - Local Parties and Electioneering in Germany 151
  • Notes 169
  • References 169
  • 7 - Do Political Parties Matter in U.S. Cities? 171
  • Notes 189
  • 8 - Forms of Patronage and Political Parties in the Italian City 191
  • Notes 210
  • References 211
  • 9 - Local Parties in Switzerland 213
  • Notes 239
  • 10 - Local Party Organizations in Denmark 242
  • Notes 269
  • References 270
  • 11 - The Local Party System in Poland 273
  • References 281
  • 12 from Communist Predominance to Multiparty System 283
  • Notes 306
  • Part Three - Conclusion 311
  • References 334
  • Appendix: - Synopsis of Hypotheses 335
  • Index 339
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