Multifaceted Party Membership

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: Booth 45
Oral Presentation
Karina KOSIARA-PEDERSEN , Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Party membership is in general in decline; however, both the trends and the membership figures vary among parties, and the meaning of party membership varies among members. Both the degree, type and quality of party member participation vary among party members. Hence, in order to understand how the concept of party membership is filled out by party members, it is necessary to take into account what formal members are actually (not) doing within or for their parties. On the basis of a party member survey in nine Danish parties across the political spectrum, first, party members are grouped into types of party members on the basis of their participation. Second, the characteristics of these party member types are shown. Third, the distribution of party member types across parties is explained on the basis of party level variables, such as level of intra-party democracy, party culture and campaigning strategy. Finally, the party member types are discussed and compared to other, newer forms of party ‘supportership’, and the democratic implications of party membership figures are put into perspective.