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Lars Bille, "Democratizing a Democratic Procedure: Myth or Reality? Candidate Selection in Western European Parties, 1960-1990," Party Politics, 7 (May 2001), 363-380.

First Paragraph:
The aim of this article is to analyse whether democratization of the candidate selection process has actually occurred in Western European parties in general, and in Denmark in particular, during the period from 1960 to 1990. Because Denmark experienced the most drastic decline in party membership among the Western European parties during this period (Bille, 1994; Katz et al., 1992), the Danish case has been selected for closer analysis. So, to what extent have the parties used this method in an effort to strengthen the relationship between voters and parties? Is it possible to trace a general trend? In other words, is democratization a myth or a reality? [Last paragraph in the introduction.]

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Level of final decision regarding candidate selection p. 366

Last Paragraph:
The analysis has demonstrated that the role of the individual party member in the candidate selection process was greater and the process was more decentralized at the beginning of the 1990s than it was around 1960. This is evidence supporting the assertion that democratization of candidate selection for national elections actually has taken place among Western European parties, although stability and modest adaptation, rather than major change, have characterized the majority of parties. In Denmark, an already democratic procedure was made even more democratic with expansion of the selectorate and of the role of individual members, markedly by the introduction of postal ballots in four of the parties, while the level of decentralization remained practically unchanged. Stability and modest change characterized the picture in Denmark. Democratization of the candidate selection process Is a reality.