Globalization challenges existing knowledge about how parties and party systems emerge, operate and change. This is in part a consequence of the globalization of democracy, the new waves of political transitions that have brought to different corners of the world regimes that are, in terms of their formal institutions, multiparty democracies. We therefore need to understand the processes whereby parties and party systems institutionalize - or fail to do so - under socio-political conditions that differ radically from those in Western democracies, where mainstream party theory originated. A central question addressed by this collection of essays in honor of Lars Svåsand is to what extent political party theory has successfully "traveled", in other words, whether existing theories can explain these novel processes of party and party system institutionalization and change. If they cannot, can theoretical frameworks be developed that will make sense of the empirical experiences emerging from new and transitional democracies?

Lise Rakner

Associated Research Professor

Recent CMI publications: