English title: Does regulation make political parties more popular? A multi-level analysis of party support in Europe

Author(s): Paul Whiteley -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2014

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between party regulation, trust in political parties and partisanship in 24 European democracies in 2010. It tests two rival hypotheses, one suggesting that the regulation of political parties improves party support among electorates, and the other arguing the opposite case that regulation weakens support for parties. These hypotheses are tested using a multi-level modelling strategy that controls for a number of variables that might account for trust in parties and partisanship at the individual level. The evidence suggests that heavy regulation of political parties is associated with low levels of trust in parties and fewer partisans in these countries. This finding persists even in the presence of a variety of control variables. The analysis uses cross-sectional data and so definitive causal relationships cannot be fully identified, but the data implies that regulation by the state in the context of a severe economic recession could be having the effect of stifling support for political parties and weakening civil society.

Volume: 35

Issue: 3

From page no: 376

To page no: 399

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0192512114526426

Journal: International Political Science Review

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