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Krister Lundell, "Determinants of Candidate Selection: The Degree of Centralization in Comparative Perspective," Party Politics, 10 (January, 2004), 25-47

First Paragraph:
Recruitment to legislative office is one of the core functions of political systems. A great deal of attention is paid to parliamentary elections, the preceding election campaign and the subsequent process of government formation (in parliamentary democracies). The selection of candidates, on the other hand, usually takes place far away from the glare of public scrutiny. Nevertheless, it is a crucial part of the political process with far reachingconsequences. According to Gallagher (1988b: 1), the quality of candidates selected determines the quality both of the deputies elected, of the resultant legislature, and sometimes also of a country's politics, especially if drastic changes in the parties' selection procedures are in hand. Endorsing these statements, Bille (2001: 364) says that we can hardly classify a regime as democratic if the organizational structure of the parties lacks mechanisms for civic participation and influence. The decision-making process reflects the internal democracy of a party and, among these processes, candidate selection is one of the most important.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. The degree of centralization of 94 candidate selection processes
Table 2. Ideology and average degree of centralization
Table 3. Associations between party size, party age, party system (effective number of parties), district magnitude, preferential voting, territorial oranization, area and the degree of centralization
Table 4. Region and average degree of centralization
Table 5. Party size, two regions and the degree of centralization. Multiple regression analysis
Appendix: Countries, parties, election year, and index of the degree of centralization

Next to Last Paragraph:
By way of conclusion, there are no really strong associations between explanatory variables and the degree of centralization. The regional factor is of some importance but it is only relevant in those regions where selection methods are noticeably centralized or decentralized, that is, the Nordic countries and Southern Europe, respectively. As a determinant, region does not explain different selection processes in general. On the basis of this study, there are no contextual determinants or party characteristics that would, to any great extent, explain varying degrees of centralization. One could argue that the theoretical basis for examining the effects of institutional determinants on candidate selection is weak. Notwithstanding, some of the theoretical assumptions are rather far-fetched. On the other hand, several of these variables have been discussed before, and one interesting finding is that the earlier assertions concerning the impact of federalism and the electoral system on the degree of centralization are, in the light of statistical evidence, not true.