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New Challenges, Old Parties: Party Change in Portugal After the European Crisis

  • Marco Lisi
Chapter

Abstract

External shocks, such as the eurocrisis that has affected Southern European countries, are expected to foster party organisational change, especially when long-term trends have challenged the role and functions performed by political parties. Drawing on the Portuguese case, this chapter addresses this problem and presents new evidence on the impact of the crisis on the transformation of party organisations. We consider three specific arenas of party change, namely the party on the ground, the extra-parliamentary party and the party in public office. The findings suggest that party change has been rather limited during the crisis and it has mainly concerned the institutional component of party organisation. From this standpoint, the Portuguese case challenges conventional wisdom on the political impact of the eurocrisis for two main reasons. First, parties have been resilient and quite immune to economic and political turmoil, while electoral pressures and the passage to opposition seem to be more powerful factors that account for party change. Second, this organisational inertia has not led to party system instability or regeneration, which suggests that voters have used more the ‘exit’ option rather than voicing their dissatisfaction towards parties.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political StudiesNova University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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