Indirect democracy in EUrope: The challenge of new political parties

  • Hans KemanEmail author


Representative or indirect democracy is under pressure: citizens’ trust in politics and satisfaction with democratic performance is waning. I argue that this has led to the emergence of new parties. This complicates consent and support not only at the domestic, but also at the EU level. It appears that established political parties are less capable to play the two level game effectively. I discuss the emergence of ‘new’ parties and argue that the type and strategy of these perturb the institutions of indirect representation and delegation. A typology of new parties is examined across 15 EU member states. I explore the effects of new types of parties on party systems, voter participation, electoral volatility and government survival. This demonstrates that party governance is under pressure: indirect democracy tends to lose its persuasion. Yet, the behaviour of new parties also shows that the institutions of indirect democracy can still integrate citizens to govern through political parties.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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