Candidate selection methods: An analytical framework

Gideon Rahat*, Reuven Y. Hazan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

317 Scopus citations


The framework presented in this article supplies tools for delineating candidate selection methods, defines what is meant by their democratization and offers an analytical framework for cross-national comparison. The first section of this article raises the problems of classifying candidate selection methods and suggests solutions for them. Each of the next four sections offers a dimension for the classification of candidate selection methods: candidacy; party selectorates; decentralization; and voting/appointment systems. The sixth section defines the process of democratizing candidate selection, and demonstrates its implementation in the three largest political parties in Israel prior to the 1996 elections, via the dimensions of the analytical framework. The subsequent section assesses the repercussions of this democratizing phenomenon in general and provides empirical evidence drawn from the Israeli experience in the 1990s. The article concludes by examining the ability of political parties to comprehend and to overcome the consequences of democratizing candidate selection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)297-322
Number of pages26
JournalParty Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Candidate selection
  • Democratization
  • Israel
  • Party organization
  • Primaries


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