Democracy and political parties: On the uneasy relationships between participation, competition and representation

Gideon Rahat*, Reuven Y. Hazan, Richard S. Katz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

If the quality of democracy incorporates values beyond simple majority choice, then is intra-party democracy likely to further or to impede the advancement of these other values? We address the relationship between internal party democracy, as indicated by the inclusiveness of parties' selectorates, and the realization of two associated democratic values - the extent of both competition in the nomination process and representation among the lists of candidates that emerge. Although we analyse these relationships within party, our interest in them is primarily for their system level impact. We find that the three democratic values of inclusive participation, competition and representativeness are unlikely to be simultaneously maximized. Rather, the relationships among these values may be non-linear, or even negative. In particular, the parties that are most internally democratic produce lists of candidates that are least representative and experience only medium levels of competition.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)663-683
Number of pages21
JournalParty Politics
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Candidate selection
  • Competition
  • Israel
  • Participation
  • Representation

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