Measuring Party Institutionalization in Developing Countries: A New Research Instrument Applied to 28 African Political Parties

GIGA Working Paper No. 69

28 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2008 Last revised: 16 Aug 2012

Matthias Basedau

German Overseas Institute (DUI)

Alexander Stroh

German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

Date Written: February 1, 2008

Abstract

The institutionalization of political parties is said to be important for democratic development, but its measurement has remained a neglected area of research. We understand the institutionalization of political organizations as progress in four dimensions: roots in society, level of organization, autonomy, and coherence. On this basis we construct an Index of the Institutionalization of Parties (IIP), which we apply to 28 African political parties. The IIP uses extensive GIGA survey and fieldwork data. Initial results reveal a more differentiated degree of institutionalization than is commonly assumed. In addition to illustrating overall deficits in party institutionalization, the IIP highlights an astonishing variance between individual parties and - to a lesser extent - between national aggregates. Further research on party institutionalization remains necessary, particularly regarding its causes and consequences.

Keywords: political parties, sub-Saharan Africa, institutionalization, stability, legitimacy

Suggested Citation

Basedau, Matthias and Stroh, Alexander, Measuring Party Institutionalization in Developing Countries: A New Research Instrument Applied to 28 African Political Parties (February 1, 2008). GIGA Working Paper No. 69. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1119203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1119203

Matthias Basedau (Contact Author)

German Overseas Institute (DUI) ( email )

Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
Hamburg, D-20354
Germany

Alexander Stroh

German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) ( email )

Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
Hamburg, DE D-20354
Germany

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