Local Parties in Political and Organizational Perspective

By Martin Saiz; Hans Geser | Go to book overview

of most democratic nations and because of the continuing need to organize when running for office. In turn, the presence of parties can sustain and bolster the social movements that support them long after "objective" economic relations have shifted. Class-based politics may remain salient because political parties are necessary for the proper functioning of the political system and because working-class parties have a firm grasp on the institutional dimensions of politics.

Although different versions of the present and the future can be disputed, it is also important to state that the findings show that a future without strong parties is probably less desirable than a future with them. The fact that stronger parties correlate with older, less-educated and less- wealthy populations in larger cities perhaps shows that power can gravitate toward populations that have little else in the way of political power. The lack of a relationship between hierarchy and strong parties may show the previous leveling effects of working-class parties. At the same time, there is little evidence that strong parties are unresponsive to groups or citizens at the local level. Contrary to the assumptions of much of the existing literature, parties are well integrated into the local political systems and collaborate with local groups. Thus, in spite of the dramatic changes affecting Western societies in the last quarter of the twentieth century, parties still perform the essential democratic functions of representation and aggregating interests.


Notes
1.
Missing responses were eliminated. The question in the Japanese survey asked about the number and nature of parties supporting the mayor's action. The meaning of "mayor" varies only slightly across the countries in the FAUI data set, as do the duties associated with the office. The most notable deviation is Finland, where a clerk responsible for directing the executive board claims the title "mayor." In the Finnish case, the functional equavalent of the mayor, the elected representative serving as president of the board, completed the survey.
2.
Functional scope varies widely among urban governments throughout the world and often within nation-states. Communities represented in the FAUI data tend to be partially responsible for the provision and maintenance of health care, public education, transportation (including streets and roads), capital stock, public safety (mostly fire protection), social welfare, housing, parks, recreation, and other services.
3.
Factor analysis provides additional support for combining the attribute scores into a summative index ( Kim and Mueller 1978, 24). We use the kaiser normalization procedure to determine the optimum number of factors that can account for the correlations. In this operation, the model accounts for the maximum amount of variance with the first factor before moving on to a second factor that accounts for the maximum amount of the residual variance before moving on to

-70-

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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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