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Doug Perkins, "Structure and Choice: The Role of Organizations, Patronage and the Media in Party Formation," Party Politics, 2 (July, 1996), 355-375.

First Paragraph:
Many of the comparative theories dealing with party formation are purely structural and overly deterministic (e.g. Lipset and Rokkan, 1967; Luebbert, 1991; Przeworski, 1985). These sorts of theories tend to explain party formation as being the result of impersonal forces (such as class) and can be quite convincing when used to explain the small number of cases within the individual studies. However, they are of less use if one wishes to study party formation in other areas or at other times. The ideas behind the theories can be transplanted, but when removed from the examples around which the theories were formed, these ideas become so abstract as to provide little more than basic guidelines. When they do consider groups or individuals as actors, their goals and actions are assumed to be structurally determined.

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Last Paragraph:
I have shown that the weakness of parties in Eastern Europe is due neither to cultural reasons nor to the inexperience of elites and/or the masses with democracy, but to the context of political action. In fact, my presentation suggests that any rational politician would adopt similar strategies given the same set of circumstances. Western political parties have been evolving slowly to take advantage of technological and demographic changes, as can be seen by the gradual adaptation of the catch-all and then the cartel party models (Katz and Mair, 1995). East European politicians, many of whom are substantially less constrained by the historical legacies of cumbersome mass parties, have chosen a stripped-down version of the cartel-party model (the media-based cadre strategy) as their starting point, essentially leapfroging their western counterparts. While the political consequences of this development remain to be seen, it does show the need for more widespread cross-national comparison.