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Knut Heidar and Jo Saglie, "Predestined Parties? Organizational Change in Norwegian Political Parties," Party Politics, 9 (March 2003), 219-239.

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In the literature on political parties, organizational changes are often discussed in terms of predestined developments towards a particular party type -- analytically presented as a 'model' -- around which existing parties will eventually converge. The argument is that democratic polities offer a standardized setting, a common arena in which all parties compete for votes and power. This arena comprises the social parameters, institutional context and technological instruments that all parties have to face, and that force parties to become more alike if they want to survive, to keep their voters and remain in power. Regardless of party traditions, parties adopt elements from the mass party', the 'catch-all' party or the 'cartel' party models in accordance with the external forces defining their operative surroundings.

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The three forces of stability addressed above contribute to the prevalence of the mass party organizational structures and practices -- in spite of declining membership. With regard to our selected organizational dimensions, Norwegian parties may be characterized as mass parties without a mass membership. The most significant change during the late 1990s and early 2000s could be the emergence of a wider range of ideals, including some elements found in the network party model. The normative ideals of mass party structures and practices are still present, but no longer uncontested. Party networks seem to have gained legitimacy, at least as supplements to the traditional model. However, the extent to which the network model is useful in describing recent developments in Norwegian parties -- or parties in other countries for that matter -- is a question which should be answered by further research covering all elements of the model.