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Patrick Seyd and Paul Whiteley, "British Party Members: An Overview," Party Politics, 10 (July 2004), 355-366.

First Paragraph:
It might seem perverse to devote an entire issue of Party Politics to party members when they appear to be a dying breed of political activists in the advanced industrial democracies. Both the supply of political enthusiasts eager to join parties, and the demand of parties for such enthusiasts, seems to be waning. Rather than the mass-membership party being a party of the future, as predicted by Duverger (1954), it now appears to be a party of the past. Mair (1997: 124) claims that among three distinct elements of party organization--the party in public office, the party bureaucracy and the voluntary membership organization--the first two remain strong, but the third is in decline. The contemporary party, it would appear, is becoming, or has already become, an organization with a relatively small number of members, or with no members at all as distinct from supporters.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Individual party membership, 1983-2003
Table 2. Levels of party activity (percentages)
Table 3. Time devoted to party activities in the average month
Table 4. Labour Party members' campaigning in the previous five years
Table 5. Labour Party members' contacts with people outside the party (percentages)

Last Two Paragraphs:
There is no doubt that parties find it more difficult to recruit members today. Politics has become more individualized. People are less willing to participate in collective forms of political activity (Pattie et al., 2004). Furthermore, major socio-economic changes make membership recruitment more difficult. But it is not beyond the possibility of parties to recruit members and activists. Our earlier work has suggested that individuals respond to various types of incentives, the most important of these being collective, selective, group and expressive. If parties provide a range of these incentives they can still attract members and encourage them to become activists.