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Taylor Dark III, "The Rise of a Global Party? American Party Organizations Abroad," Party Politics, 9 (March 2003), 241-255.

First Paragraph:
One of the oldest and most resilient ways of conceptualizing political party activity has been to divide it into three components: the party in the electorate, the party in government and the party as an organization. The last of these components was, of course, defined in reference to the leaders and activists who worked through the party apparatus to gain members, financial contributions and votes on behalf of party nominees. Naturally enough, this activity was assumed to take place entirely within the territorial boundaries of the country where the party contested elections -- American party organizations mobilized within the USA, British parties within Britain, and so on. The claim of this article is that this assumption is now outdated, and that in the current age of globalization American party organizations have taken the first steps to become 'global' organizations themselves. While the extent of this development should not be exaggerated, it is of sufficient importance to merit the attention of scholars of American and party politics. The point was underscored in dramatic fashion during the 2000 presidential election, when votes from American citizens overseas became a crucial factor in the final determination of who won the electoral votes of Florida, and thus the presidency itself (Barstow and Van Natta, 2001). As that episode revealed, the assumption that American electoral politics can be understood simply by examining domestic party activity is no longer tenable.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Private US citizens residing abroad (estimated): top 15 countries by American population, July 1999
Table 2: Breakdown of Demcrats Abroad membership March 2000
Table 3: Survey of attendees at the Democrats Abroad Global Convention Paris, France 1 April 2000 (total responses: 76)

Last Paragraph:
Lastly, we must return to a question posed at the beginning of this article: does this phenomenon constitute a qualitative leap in the nature of American party organization, one that breaks or alters the links between territoriality and citizenship? The answer has to be an ambiguous one. On the one hand, we clearly see the intensification of cross-border political activity (part of the very definition of globalization), the emergence of new issues for partisan competition (overseas taxation, voting rights, citizenship transmission, etc.), and the creation of new possibilities for split loyalties (voting in one country while living in another). The most interesting revelation is that a US citizen living abroad, perhaps for many decades, and perhaps while even holding citizenship in another country, can serve on the highest decision-making body of the Democratic Party. While considerable controversy has been attached to the idea that Mexican-Americans with dual citizenship are residing in the USA while voting in Mexican elections and even serving in Mexican offices, few have noticed that some American citizens who have lived abroad --including in Mexico -- are doing much the same thing. Nevertheless, such developments do not constitute the definitive creation of a 'global party' -- rather, they imply the globalization of what are still mostly traditional American party activities. A truly global party, of course, would require a global state with which to interact; for the moment, we have only national political parties with global arms dedicated to accomplishing strictly delimited tasks. Where these organizational forms may eventually lead remains as interesting and as unknown as the future of globalization itself.