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Bringing party organization back in: a comparative analysis of party representation in Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2019

Nathalie Giger*
University of Geneva, 40 boulevard du Pont d'Arve, 1211 Genève 4, Geneve, Switzerland
Gijs Schumacher
University of Amsterdam, Postbus 15578 1001, NB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


In this study we focus on party organizational characteristics as key determinants of party congruence. We examine how the horizontal and vertical integration of parties is linked to representation in comparative perspective. We further focus on how congruence is achieved by detailing our expectation regarding effects on the uncertainty versus bias in the estimates of party constituents' opinion. Exploiting a comparative database on political parties and data from Comparative Studies of Electoral Systems, we show that having a complex organizational structure and being leadership dominated makes parties less representative of their constituencies. These findings carry important implications for the study of political representation but also for the literature on political parties in crisis.

Original Article
Copyright © The European Political Science Association 2019

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