How are political parties differentiated according to the article by Diamond and Gunther?

Assess the theoretical propositions from the article critically. Provide arguments and give your opinion where appropriate.Mandatory Format: Times New Roman 12 pts. font, 1.5 line spacing, 3 pages volume, title page and bibliography excluded.NOTES: Those texts that do not meet the format will not be subject to evaluation.
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PA RT Y P O L I T I C S
V O L 9 . N o . 2 pp. 167–199
Copyright © 2003 SAGE Publications
London
Thousand Oaks
New Delhi
SPECIES OF POLITICAL PARTIES
A New Typology
Richard Gunther and Larry Diamond
ABSTRACT
While the literature already includes a large number of party typologies,
they are increasingly incapable of capturing the great diversity of party
types that have emerged worldwide in recent decades, largely because
most typologies were based upon West European parties as they existed
in the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Some new party
types have been advanced, but in an ad hoc manner and on the basis of
widely varying and often inconsistent criteria. This article is an effort to
set many of the commonly used conceptions of parties into a coherent
framework, and to delineate new party types whenever the existing
models are incapable of capturing important aspects of contemporary
parties. We classify each of 15 ‘species’ of party into its proper ‘genus’
on the basis of three criteria: (1) the nature of the party’s organization
(thick/thin, elite-based or mass-based, etc.); (2) the programmatic orientation of the party (ideological, particularistic-clientele-oriented, etc.);
and (3) tolerant and pluralistic (or democratic) versus proto-hegemonic
(or anti-system). While this typology lacks parsimony, we believe that it
captures more accurately the diversity of the parties as they exist in the
contemporary democratic world, and is more conducive to hypothesistesting and theory-building than others.
KEY WORDS party organization party programmes party systems party types
For nearly a century, political scientists have developed typologies and
models of political parties in an effort to capture the essential features of the
partisan organizations that were the objects of their analysis. The end result
is that the literature today is rich with various categories of party types,
some of which have acquired the status of ‘classics’ and have been used by
scholars for decades (e.g. Duverger, 1954; Kirchheimer, 1966; Neumann,
1956). We believe, however, that the existing models of political parties do
not adequately capture the full range of variation in party types found in
1354-0688(200303)9:2;167–199;030836
PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 9 ( 2 )
the world today, and that the various typologies of parties, based on a wide
variety of definitional criteria, have not been conducive to cumulative theorybuilding. This article, therefore, is an attempt to re-evaluate the prevailing
typologies of political parties, retaining widely used concepts and terminology wherever possible, consolidating and clarifying party models in some
cases, and defining new party types in others. This is for several reasons.
First, nearly all of the existing typologies of political parties were derived
from studies of West European parties over the past century and a half.
Accordingly, some of their distinguishing features are products of that
particular temporal and geographical context. Parties that have emerged
more recently, as well as those functioning in other parts of the world, have
been substantially affected by greatly different social and technological
environments. This is certainly true of parties in developing countries whose
populations exhibit considerable ethnic, religious and/or linguistic diversity,
upon which competitive parties have most commonly been based. It is even
true of the United States, whose two highly decentralized parties fit uneasily
with most existing party typologies (see Beck, 1997).
Similarly, many of the parties that first emerged in the late twentieth
century have prominent features that cannot be captured using classic party
typologies developed a century earlier. In this later period of party development, television (which did not exist at the time the classic party typologies
were formulated) had unequivocally become the most important medium of
political communication between candidates and voters in nearly all modern
democracies (see Gunther and Mughan, 2000). This medium systematically
privileges the personalities of party leaders over presentation of party programmes or ideology, at the same time as it greatly reduces the utility of
mass membership as a vehicle for electoral mobilization. Also in the late
twentieth century, public opinion polling and ‘focus groups’ have been
increasingly employed, facilitating the crafting of ad hoc electoral appeals,
at the expense of long-standing ideological principles, programmatic commitments and constituency interests. Finally, fundamental features of mass
culture and social structure had also changed profoundly by the late twentieth century: extreme economic inequality and the high political salience of
the class cleavage had declined in many countries, while new political conflicts growing out of ‘post-materialist’ values had begun to affect partisan
politics.
In the absence of an expanded and updated typology of parties, the small
number of party models that make up the most commonly used typologies
has often led to an excessive ‘concept stretching’. Inappropriate labels have
been applied to newly emerging parties whose characteristics depart
markedly from those which went into the original definition of the party
model. In effect, this represents an effort to cram square pegs into round
holes. Both empirical studies and theory-building can be weakened by
unwarranted assumptions of commonalities (if not uniformity) among
parties that are, in fact, quite varied, and by the inappropriate application
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G U N T H E R A N D D I A M O N D : S P E C I E S O F P O L I T I C A L PA RT I E S
of labels to parties whose organizational, ideological or strategic characteristics differ significantly from the original prototype. The term ‘catch-all’,
for example, has been most frequently subjected to this kind of abuse (see
Puhle, 2002), given its de facto status as a residual category that seems to
be more flexible and adaptable to contemporary circumstances than the
earlier classic party models. Thus, while we acknowledge the many valuable
contributions of empirical studies of parties that have been based upon the
traditional West European party models, we believe that the study of parties
in other world regions, as well as efforts to better capture the dynamics of
‘the new campaign politics’ of recent decades (see Pasquino, 2001), would
be greatly enhanced by a reassessment and broadening of these party
models.
A second problem with the existing typologies is that, in the aggregate,
they have been based on a wide variety of criteria, and little or no effort has
been invested in an attempt to make them more consistent and compatible
with one another. These inconsistencies, as well as the lack of precision in
defining certain types of parties, have hindered the capacity of research in
this area to result in cumulative theory-building. Some typologies are based
upon functionalist criteria, differentiating among parties on the basis of an
organizational raison d’être or some specific goal that they pursue. Sigmund
Neumann (1956), for example, distinguishes between ‘parties of individual
representation’ (which articulate the demands of specific social groups) and
‘parties of social integration’ (which have well-developed organizations and
provide a wide variety of services to members, encapsulating them within a
partisan community, in exchange for which they count on financial contributions and volunteered services of members during election campaigns). In
his typology, ‘parties of total integration’ have more ambitious goals of
seizing power and radically transforming societies, demanding the full
commitment and unquestioning obedience of members. Herbert Kitschelt
(1989) differentiates parties that emphasize the ‘logic of electoral competition’ from those (such as the ‘left-libertarian’ type that he introduces)
that place much greater stress on the ‘logic of constituency representation’.
Wolinetz (2002) distinguishes among ‘vote-seeking’, ‘policy-seeking’ and
‘office-seeking’ parties. And Katz and Mair (1995) implicitly advance a
functionalist logic in setting forth the model of the ‘cartel party’, in which
public financing of parties and the expanded role of the state induce party
leaders to restrain competition and seek primarily to perpetuate themselves
in power to avail themselves of these new resources.
Other classification schemes are organizational, distinguishing between
parties that have thin organizational structures and those that have developed large infrastructures and complex networks of collaborative relationships with other secondary organizations. The classic statement of this kind
was by Maurice Duverger, who advanced a two-and-one-half category
scheme separating ‘cadre’ parties (most commonly led by individuals with
high socio-economic status) from ‘mass’ parties (which mobilize broad
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PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 9 ( 2 )
segments of the electorate through the development of a large and complex
organization), with the ‘devotee’ party alluded to but dismissed as ‘too
vague to constitute a separate category’.1 Herbert Kitschelt (1994) posits a
four-part classification system distinguishing among ‘centralist clubs’,
‘Leninist cadre’ parties, ‘decentralized clubs’ and ‘decentralized mass’
parties. And Angelo Panebianco (1988), in the most elaborate articulation
of an organizational typology, contrasts ‘mass-bureaucratic’ parties with
‘electoral-professional’ parties.
Some scholars of party politics implicitly or explicitly base their work on
the notion that parties are the products of (and ought to represent the interests of) various social groups. This sociological orientation characterizes the
analyses of parties set forth by Samuel Eldersveld (1964) and Robert
Michels (1915), as Panebianco (1988: 3) points out. Finally, there are some
prominent scholars who indiscriminately mix all three of these sets of
criteria, such as Otto Kirchheimer (1966), who posits four party models:
bourgeois parties of individual representation; class-mass parties; denominational mass parties; and catch-all people’s parties.
We do not object to the notion that several different criteria may be
employed to differentiate one type of party from another. Indeed, as is
apparent below, we use three criteria as the basis of our own integrative
schema. However, we do believe that systematic hypothesis-testing and
cumulative theory-building have been hindered by the tendency of proponents of the various typologies to ‘talk past’ one another without
systematically assessing the overlap or distinctiveness, not to mention the
relative merits, of the various classification schema.2 This lack of conceptual and terminological consistency stands in sharp contrast to some other
subfields of political science, such as the closely related literature on party
systems, within which a clear consensus has emerged concerning the
meaning (and even specific operational indicators) of such core concepts as
‘fragmentation’, ‘volatility’ and ‘disproportionality’.
Some (but by no means all) of these typologies, moreover, have been based
on the selection of just one criterion as the basis of a typology (be it organizational structure, principal organizational objective or social basis of
representation). This has narrowed the focus of analysis excessively, while
much variation within each party type is not systematically analysed. What
is gained in terms of parsimony is lost in terms of the ability to capture
theoretically significant variation among real-world parties. In addition,
many of these studies are excessively deductive, positing at the outset that
one particular criterion is of paramount importance without sustaining that
assertion through a careful assessment of relevant evidence. As a result,
some such studies fall victim to reductionist argumentation, in which several
structural or behavioural characteristics of parties are assumed to have been
caused by one privileged variable. Duverger (1954), for example, sets forth
an organization-based typology, but also acknowledges the great importance of social class-linking cadre parties with the middle and upper strata,
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G U N T H E R A N D D I A M O N D : S P E C I E S O F P O L I T I C A L PA RT I E S
and the working class with mass-based parties. He explains this relationship
by contending that these organizational forms are dictated by varying levels
of resources and constraints faced by party-builders in their efforts to secure
funding necessary to support their activities.
We believe (with Koole, 1996) that it is premature to attempt to build
elaborate theories on the basis of what may be inadequate typologies. A
more open and ultimately productive line of empirical analysis should begin
with a more theoretically modest but empirically more comprehensive and
accurate set of party types that are more truly reflective of real-world variations among parties. This is particularly necessary in an effort to include
countries outside of Western Europe within a preliminary comparative
analysis. Thus, we shall increase the number of party types, building
whenever possible on models and terminology previously advanced by other
scholars, while at the same time imposing some semblance of order on some
of the criteria most commonly used as the basis of party typologies. Specifically, we try to avoid the common temptation to introduce a new party type
on ad hoc grounds, based simply on a conclusion that a particular case
cannot be adequately explained using the existing typologies.
Our typology of parties is based upon three criteria. The first of these
involves the nature of the formal organization of the party. Some parties
are organizationally thin, while others develop large mass-membership
bases with allied or ancillary institutions engaged in distinct but related
spheres of social life; some rely on particularistic networks of personal
interaction or exchange, while others are open and universalistic in membership and appeal; and some rely heavily, if not exclusively, on modern techniques of mass communication and ignore the development of primary,
face-to-face channels of communication or secondary associations. The
second classificatory criterion involves the nature of the party’s programmatic commitments. Accordingly, some parties derive programmatic stands
from well-articulated ideologies rooted in political philosophies, religious
beliefs or nationalistic sentiments; others are either pragmatic or have no
well-defined ideological or programmatic commitments; still others are
committed to advance the interests of a particular ethnic, religious or socioeconomic group, or geographically defined constituency, in contrast to those
that are heterogeneous if not promiscuously eclectic in their electoral
appeals to groups in society. The third criterion involves the strategy and
behavioural norms of the party, specifically, whether the party is tolerant
and pluralistic or proto-hegemonic in its objectives and behavioural style:
some parties are fully committed to democratic rules-of-the-game, are
tolerant and respectful towards their opponents, and are pluralistic in their
views of polity and society; others are semi-loyal to democratic norms and
institutions, or are explicitly anti-system, favouring the replacement of the
existing pluralistic democracy with a regime that would be more uniformly
committed to the achievement of their programmatic objectives.
In our more detailed discussion of parties that are characteristic of each
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PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 9 ( 2 )
party model, we also deal with two other dimensions of party life that are
significant and have been extensively dealt with in the existing literature on
parties. One of these is sociological, i.e. the nature of the clientele towards
which the party pitches its appeals, and whose interests it purports to defend
or advance. The second involves the internal dynamics of party decisionmaking, particularly the nature and degree of prominence of the party’s
leader, ranging from a dominant charismatic figure, at one extreme, to more
collective forms of party leadership, at the other. We hypothesize that party
types (defined by the organizational, programmatic and strategic criteria
listed above) are often associated with particular social clienteles and/or
leadership patterns, but not in a deterministic manner, and certainly not to
the extent that these sociological and leadership dimensions are built into
the definition of the party type.
It is important to note that the models of political parties that we describe
below are ideal types, in the strictest Weberian sense of that term. As such,
they are heuristically useful insofar as they give easily understandable labels
that will help the reader more easily comprehend otherwise complex, multidimensional concepts. Moreover, they facilitate analysis insofar as they serve
as baselines for comparisons involving real-world cases, or as extreme endpoints of evolutionary processes that might never be fully attained. As with
all ideal types, however, one should not expect that real-world political
parties fully conform to all of the criteria that define each party model; similarly, some parties may include elements of more than one ideal type.
Perhaps most importantly, individual parties may evolve over time, such that
they may have most closely approximated one party type in an earlier
period, but shift in the direction of a different type later on.
Types of Political Parties
On the basis of these three criteria, we identify 15 different ‘species’ of party
that we believe better capture the basic essence of political parties around
the world, and during various historical eras, than do most of the established party typologies. We also recognize, however, a negative trade-off that
is implicit in this approach: the obvious lack of parsimony may confuse the
reader or make it difficult to appreciate the most crucial differences among
these numerous party types. We therefore privilege one of our three classificatory dimensions – the type of party organization. Borrowing an analogy
from biology, we regard the type of party organization as defining as a genus
which, in turn, encompasses several species of political party. These genera
are: elite-based parties, mass-based parties, ethnicity-based parties, electoralist parties and movement parties. These can be seen in Figure 1, which
displays these party types in a two-dimensional array with ‘organizationally
thin’ parties towards the left and ‘organizationally thick’ parties towards the
right side of the diagram, and with party types that emerged in earlier
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G U N T H E R A N D D I A M O N D : S P E C I E S O F P O L I T I C A L PA RT I E S
YEAR
THIN
THICK
1850
Elite-based
Tradit.
Local
Notable
Mass-based
Socialism
Class-mass
Clientelistic
Nationalism
Religion
Ethnicity-based
PluralistNationalist
Denominational
Congress
Leninist
Ultranationalist
Ethnic
Electoralist
Catch-all
Programmatic
Personalistic
Fundamentalist
Movement/Parties
Left-Libertarian
2000
Post-industrial
Extreme-Right
Figure 1. Extent of organization
historical periods towards the top of the diagram, and more recent entrants
on the scene appearing towards the bottom.
The correlation between the degree of organizational thinness/thickness
of the party and the temporal dimension is not accidental. A political party
comes into existence within a specific social and technological context that
may evolve over time, and this ‘founding context’ can leave a lasting imprint
on the basic nature of the party’s organization for decades to come. Parties
are channels of intermediation between political elites and voters, and a
particular o …
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