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Types of party affiliation and the multi-speed party: What kind of party support is functionally equivalent to party membership?

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


  • Marc Hooghe, KU Leuven
  • ,
  • Ann-Kristin Kolln

Research has repeatedly shown that formal party membership is in structural decline in liberal democracies. The same strongly negative trend, however, has not been observed for less formal forms of party attachment and authors have claimed that this leads to a pattern of multi-speed party adherence. In the current analysis, we investigate to what extent non-formalized forms of adhering to a political party have the same attitudinal and behavioural functions as formal party membership. The analysis is based on a 4-year (2011-2015) panel study in the Netherlands. The results indicate that party supporters are characterized by lower levels of commitment and stability than party members. What seems to matter, however, is the level of conviction, and a smaller group of highly motivated supporters resembles party members quite strongly. We close with some observations on how political parties might react to this deinstitutionalization of party attachment.

TidsskriftParty Politics
Sider (fra-til)355-365
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2020

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