Party Finance and Party Membership in Europe

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal 5A G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Piero IGNAZI, University of Bologna, Italy
Eugenio PIZZIMENTI, University of Pisa, Italy
Francesca FEO, University of Bologna, Italy
 One of the most controversial aspects of intra-party life concerns parties financing and its relationship with the internal organization. The evolution of the traditional mass integration party into more professionalized party implied an increase of the party budget . Media-centered and centralized electoral campaigns brought to a skyrocketing growth of financial inflow. This process ran parallel to the decline of party membership and voluntary activism, which turned into a sharp decrease in membership fees and private donations. The introduction of public funding schemes to political parties, thus, represented the privileged solution to face the new economic and organizational challenges of contemporary politics. The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between party finance and party membership in a group of European countries (Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands) characterized by relevant differences in both the public funding schemes and party organizational traditions.