- Promoting Party Politics in Emerging Democracies
- Volume | Issue number
- 17 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
This opening section briefly introduces international political party support, that is, assistance to political parties by international organizations, mostly from the US and Europe, to strengthen individual political parties, to promote peaceful interaction between parties and to help to create a more stable and democratic environment for political parties in new, struggling or flawed democracies. Before going on to introduce the contributions to this collection, this introduction discusses three major issues related to international support to political parties: the current ‘party crisis’ in young as well as in old democracies; the intrusive (political) nature of international party assistance; and the difficulties involved in assessing its effectiveness. Political parties seem much more difficult to work with than (other) political and civil society organizations. Subsequently, we will turn to the case studies, which focus on the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, and Africa, with excursions into Cambodia and El Salvador. Most of the contributions dwell on two contrasting country cases, and all of them combine attention to the state of political parties and party systems in their respective countries with the role played by international involvement and party support in particular. We will briefly present and discuss the major issues raised for international party support in the country studies, and try to formulate an answer to the question about where and when party support might make a meaningful contribution to supporting democratic transformation and consolidation.
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