When it comes to party institutionalisation – at least for entrepreneurial right-wing protest parties – leadership matters! That is the primary takeaway from this book.
Of the hundreds of new parties that have formed since the 1970s, many have fallen by the wayside, but others have gone on to reach institution-hood. And some of the latter have then met with decay and de-institutionalisation.
The experiences of the Progress Parties of Denmark and Norway – both of which institutionalised and one of which then de-institutionalised – shed important light on both topics.
While focusing particularly on those two cases, the authors develop conceptual and theoretical frameworks that are broadly applicable, as demonstrated in the final chapter and in an elaborate appendix.
'In a period when traditional political parties face their worst crisis ever and entrepreneurial protest parties, both on the right (eg UKIP, ANEL) and on the left (eg Podemos, M5S), spring up like mushrooms across Europe, this excellent study on the causes of party de-institutionalisation could have not been more timely. Conceptually sophisticated and methodologically sound, this book has everything to become a classic.'
Fernando Casal Bértoa, University of Nottingham
'An impressive example of conceptual advancement applied to interesting cases. The authors use a detailed study of the Danish and Norwegian Progress Parties to shed new light on party institutionalisation and party failure. They show that leadership matters when we want to understand why some parties succeed while others vanish.'
Thomas Poguntke, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf