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Professional activists? Party activism among political staffers in parliamentary democracies

Pieter Moens (UGent)
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Abstract
Although the position of the party on the ground has been weakened by cartelization, grassroots activists remain an important recruitment pool for political professionals. Based on unique survey data collected among the staff of 14 Belgian and Dutch parties (N = 1009), this article offers an in-depth analysis of party activism among this under-researched population. Introducing a new supply and demand framework, I argue that staff recruitment is shaped by candidate preferences (supply) and party preferences (demand). The findings demonstrate that most political staffers are high-intensity activists with a strong commitment to their party. Moreover, the theoretical model accurately predicts that non-activists are more common among policy and communication experts, ministerial staff, and those working for ideologically moderate parties. These findings show that paid staffers do not necessarily widen the gap between parties and activists. They also raise normative questions about internal congruence within parties in coalition governments.
Keywords
Political Science, party activism, political professionalization, political staff, survey research

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Moens, Pieter. “Professional Activists? Party Activism among Political Staffers in Parliamentary Democracies.” PARTY POLITICS, 2021, doi:10.1177/13540688211027317.
APA
Moens, P. (2021). Professional activists? Party activism among political staffers in parliamentary democracies. PARTY POLITICS. https://doi.org/10.1177/13540688211027317
Chicago author-date
Moens, Pieter. 2021. “Professional Activists? Party Activism among Political Staffers in Parliamentary Democracies.” PARTY POLITICS. https://doi.org/10.1177/13540688211027317.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Moens, Pieter. 2021. “Professional Activists? Party Activism among Political Staffers in Parliamentary Democracies.” PARTY POLITICS. doi:10.1177/13540688211027317.
Vancouver
1.
Moens P. Professional activists? Party activism among political staffers in parliamentary democracies. PARTY POLITICS. 2021;
IEEE
[1]
P. Moens, “Professional activists? Party activism among political staffers in parliamentary democracies,” PARTY POLITICS, 2021.
@article{8717501,
  abstract     = {{Although the position of the party on the ground has been weakened by cartelization, grassroots activists remain an important recruitment pool for political professionals. Based on unique survey data collected among the staff of 14 Belgian and Dutch parties (N = 1009), this article offers an in-depth analysis of party activism among this under-researched population. Introducing a new supply and demand framework, I argue that staff recruitment is shaped by candidate preferences (supply) and party preferences (demand). The findings demonstrate that most political staffers are high-intensity activists with a strong commitment to their party. Moreover, the theoretical model accurately predicts that non-activists are more common among policy and communication experts, ministerial staff, and those working for ideologically moderate parties. These findings show that paid staffers do not necessarily widen the gap between parties and activists. They also raise normative questions about internal congruence within parties in coalition governments.}},
  author       = {{Moens, Pieter}},
  issn         = {{1354-0688}},
  journal      = {{PARTY POLITICS}},
  keywords     = {{Political Science,party activism,political professionalization,political staff,survey research}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  title        = {{Professional activists? Party activism among political staffers in parliamentary democracies}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13540688211027317}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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