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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

New Political Parties as Innovators: Their Formation and Success

Gregor Zons

The recent success of the German Pirate Party shows the enduring relevance of new political parties in established democracies. Studies on the formation and success of new political parties typically concentrate on institutional factors or social cleavages. This project investigates the programmatic level of party competition. Although this aspect has been partially addressed by studies on parties and party families, it has been insufficiently covered by studies that aim to provide general explanations. With regard to the political market, a clear theoretical and empirical distinction has been lacking between the programmatic supply of existing parties and the demand by society or the electorate. This project takes this distinction into account and examines how programmatic innovations and their origins contribute to the formation and success of new parties. The results will also contribute to our understanding of the functioning and dynamics of party competition as well as the stability of party systems. Project duration: October 2010 to March 2014.
Zons, Gregor, 2013: The Influence of Programmatic Diversity on the Formation of New Political Parties. In: Party Politics. Published online 25 November 2013. DOI: 10.117/135406881309515.
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