The Europeanisation of National Political Parties

The Europeanisation of National Political Parties

In January 2003, five members of KEPRU commenced work on a major cross-national project on the Europeanization of National Political Parties. The European Union's multi-level system of governance is becoming increasingly important for national politics - a development that has been documented over the past ten years by research on the increased impact of the EU on the politics and policy-making procedures of its member states. Before this project commenced, no major study had examined the effects of the EU on national political parties even though political parties occupy a vital position in the workings of parliamentary government in Western Europe.

This major cross-national project set out to correct the lack of attention that political parties have received in the context of national actors undergoing change as a result of the increased influence of EU supranational factors. Through a two-stage design combining in-depth case studies of parties in six EU member states (Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, UK) with a comprehensive study of all relevant parties in all pre-2004 enlargement member states, the project explored changes in the formal organisational structures of parties as well as transformations in the patterns of political processes within parties.

The project was run from the Keele European Parties Research Unit (KEPRU), hosted within the School of Politics, International Relations and the Environment at Keele University. The project received funding from the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), plus additional support from the Keele University Investment Scheme. The period of ESRC funding came to an end during 2006, but KEPRU colleagues continue to work on this topic.

Publications deriving from the project include

Poguntke, Thomas, Nicholas Aylott, Elisabeth Carter, Robert Ladrech and Kurt Richard Luther (eds) (2007), The Europeanization of National Political Parties: Power and Organizational Adaptation, Abingdon: Routledge.

Poguntke, Thomas, Nicholas Aylott, Robert Ladrech and Kurt Richard Luther (2007), The Europeanization of National Party Organizations: A Conceptual Analysis, European Journal of Political Research, 46(6): 747-771.

Ladrech, Robert (2008), Europeanization of Parties in Western and Eastern Europe: The Variable Nature of the EUs Attraction, Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, 10(2): 139-150.

Ladrech, Robert (2007), Political Parties and European Governance: The Consequences of Missing in Action, West European Politics, 30(5): 945-960.

Luther, Kurt Richard (2008), Towards Stratarchy? European Integration and the Intra-party Power of Austrian MEPs and Delegation Leaders, Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 37(3): 1-20.

Carter, Elisabeth and Thomas Poguntke (2010), How European Integration Changes National Parties: Evidence from a 15-Country-Study, West European Politics, 32(2): 297-324.