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Constitutionalizing Party Democracy: The Constitutive Codification of Political Parties in Post-war Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 August 2011

Abstract

This article analyses the process of party constitutionalization in post-war Europe. It explores the temporal patterns of party constitutionalization and reveals their connection with moments of fundamental institutional restructuring. It discusses the different modes of party constitutionalization, and addresses what these convey about the underlying conceptions of party democracy. It argues that the constitutional codification of political parties has consolidated the empirical reality of modern party government as well as its normative foundations of modern party government, thereby transforming political parties from socio-political organizations into integral units of the democratic state. Finally, it suggests that the constitutionalization of the democratic importance of political parties might reflect an attempt to legitimize their existence in the face of their weakening as agents of democratic representation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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References

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2 Including the Lisbon Treaty, which places political parties prominently in Part II (Provisions on Democratic Principles), stipulating that ‘Political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union.’ (art. 8 A.4)

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