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Jocelyn A. J. Evans and Jonathan Tonge, "Problems of Modernizing an Ethno-Religious Party: The Case of the Ulster Unionist Party in Northern Ireland," Party Politics, 11 (May, 2005), 319-338.

First Paragraph:
The ability of political parties to adapt to changing circumstances has been key to their survival. Processes of renewal have involved, variously, ideological adaptation; professionalization; changed social class appeal; reinvigoration of membership; and restructuring and removal of unpopular linkages (Katz and Mair, 1994; Kitschelt, 1989, 1994; Panebianco, 1988). Such processes demand that a party display the basic attributes of unity, dynamism, democracy and responsiveness seen as central to the efficient functioning of such organizations (Blondel, 1978: 137-40). In particular, party modernization requires internal cohesion, with group members visibly working together to achieve party goals (Bowler et al., 1999; Ozbudun, 1970). Parties may require voluntary codes of conduct among members, but may also utilize sanctions or punitive measures. As Ozbudun (1970: 331) asserts, 'parties which have not adopted disciplinary measures are also the least cohesive ones'.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Protestant distribution in 1998 and 2002 by attitude to/vote for GFA Source: Hayes and McAllister, 2001; BBC Northern Ireland, Hearts and Minds, 17 October 2002.
Table 1. Religious profile of Ulster Unionist Council membership
Table 2. Orange Order membership of principal Protestant denominations
Table 3. Religiosity of principal Protestant denominations membership
Table 4. Regression model results of social profile on Northern Ireland policy positions
Table 5. Regression model results of social profile on Northern Ireland policy positions (continued)
Table 6. Voting patterns in Good Friday Agreement referendum and 'voting with hindsight' ween committee contingents and their parties
Appendix 1: Coding of Party, Committee and Deputy Bills

Last paragraph:
Thus, party modernization appears as an effect of shifts in social structure and ideological position, rather than a cause. Where such shifts are absent, changes are strategically ill-advised and leaders know this, however at odds this may be with normative goals. The dismissal by the UUP leader, David Trimble, of the Irish Republic as 'the pathetic sectarian, mono-ethnic, mono-cultural state to our South' at the UUC Annual General Meeting in March 2002 is indicative that an 'Orange card' can still be played, even allowing that such rhetoric was a deviation from an ongoing process of change in discourse (if not of structure) within the party. The tensions between party discourses based on religion or sovereignty remain evident, and not always rectifiable through rapid party structural modernization.