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The Continued Relevance of Local Parties in Representative Democracies

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alistair Clark


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This article assesses the value of local parties. It asks why political parties value their local sections. It also considers the ways in which local parties can benefit society. Local parties act as a democratic training ground for party members, are a conduit for political communication and provide parties with a range of resources. They also act as problem solving agencies; they ensure that policy is responsive to local needs; they provide an additional channel of communication and accountability; and they link citizens with the state. The article ends with an appeal to party scholars to refocus their attention towards local parties.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Politics

Year: 2004

Volume: 24

Issue: 1

Pages: 35-45

ISSN (print): 0263-3957

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9256

Publisher: Wiley Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9256.2004.00203.x


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