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Samuel J. Eldersveld, "Party Change and Continuity in Amsterdam: An Empirical Study of Local Organizational Adaptation," Party Politics, 4 (July 1998), 319-346.

First Paragraph:
Party structural adaptation has been a major concern of scholars recently and seems to be a useful focus for studying party change, decline, or survival (Rose and Mackie, 1988; Katz and Mair, 1994). Yet 'there continue to be severe limits to the comparative understanding of precisely how party organizations work, about how they change, and about how they adapt' (Katz and Mair, 1994: 2). In a sense we ask the same question today put to us 30 years ago by Lipset and Rokkan (1967: 51-4) as they reflected on the 'freezing' of party alignments: 'How were these parties able to survive so many changes in the political, social, and economic condition of their operation?'.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1a: The Amsterdam party system in flux: municipal elections (%)
Table 1b: The Amsterdam party system in flux: parliamentary elections
Table 2: Class and religious changes, 1956-89 (% of Dutch population)
Figure 1: Conceptual model of party adaptation
Table 3: Amsterdam municipal elections: change in percentage of votes won by party, 1962-94
Table 4: The social transformations and continuities in Amsterdam's party organizations (using key social background variables) (%)
Table 5: Adaptation scores for social renewal for Amsterdam party organizations
Table 6: The shift towards less consistent liberalism (% consistent liberals)
Table 7: Change over time in views of party leaders on three central issues
Table 8: Ideological change scores for Amsterdam's party organizations
Table 9: Indicators of organizational involvement by party (%)
Table 10: Trends in party activism (% of respondents mentioning)
Table 11: Mean scores of organizational strength, based on level of activist's involvement (means for four indicators in %)
Table 12: Activist's mean levels of satisfaction, by age (%)
Figure 2: Is there a covariation of the vote with organizational adaptation? The three Amsterdam models

Last Paragraph:
Admittedly, it is difficult to answer definitively our final question.- was organizational adaptation by the Amsterdam parties a key factor, or a key set of developments, that contributed to electoral losses or gains? Obviously it is impossible in a study of this type - a study over time in one city - to demonstrate perfectly an empirical relationship between organizational adaptation and the party vote. This has been done in the USA in a variety of studies where a large number of precincts or counties whose organizational strength we could measure were available (with the results from interviews) and where the vote was disaggregated and reported by such sub-divisions (see, for example, Cutwright and Rossi, 1958; Katz and Eldersveld, 1961; Crotty, 1971, 1968; Beck, 1974, 1994). In a temporal study such as this in Amsterdam we can document empirically the variance by the parties city-wide in their organizational strength and adaptation at different time points and for different time periods, and report the variance in the local party vote. But the type of statistical analysis used in the American precinct and county studies is not possible. Nevertheless, our data are indeed suggestive. Conceptually, the relationship of organizational adaptation influencing party vote is a logical one; empirically the data reveal a very probable linkage. The local party organization in Amsterdam is obviously a dynamic vote-relevant structure, aware of the imperatives of adapting to environmental changes and political crisis. That adaptation can effectively revitalize a party. It can also be tragically inadequate. Parties do not just learn progressively, but they learn and relearn to adapt. We have found patterns of both success and failure in Amsterdam in the past 30 years. What will the future hold -- after 1994 how will the parties maintain or recapture their organizational vitality and thus their electoral appeal?