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Political Party organisation in East Asia : towards a new framework for the analysis of party formation and change

Hellman, Oliver (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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At present, progressive theory‐building in the area of political party organisation is being hampered by the controversy over how much freedom of choice decision‐makers within a party enjoy in relation to their environment. This piece of research will therefore develop an analytical framework that transcends this debate by acknowledging the causal effects of both structures and party leadership. Based on the ideas of historical institutionalism, it will argue that party organisation is the product of strategic decisions made in a strategically selective context. The framework is then applied to political parties in the newer democracies of South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia. The selection of cases is motivated by the fact that East Asia has so far been largely ignored by systematic studies of political party organisation. As will be seen, post‐autocratic environments in the region strongly favour political parties that are mere façades for informal patron‐client networks. However, we can also find parties characterised by a higher level of formal organisational strength, including parties that share many similarities with the classical mass party. These parties thus demonstrate that political actors are able to develop alternative organisational responses to the same structural context.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Van Biezen, Ingrid
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Department of Political Science and International Relations
Additional Information:

A revised and updated version has been published as:
Political parties and electoral strategy: the development of party organization in East Asia
Palgrave Macmillan, June 2011
ISBN: 978-0-230-28441-8, ISBN10: 0-230-28441-8,

Subjects:JQ Political institutions Asia
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:834
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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