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Jonathan Hopkin and Pieter van Houten, "Decentralization and State-wide Parties: Introduction," Party Politics, 15 (March, 2009), 131-135.

First paragraph:
Most political parties are simultaneously active at multiple territorial levels of government. Besides the national level, which is typically most salient, most parties operate at one or more sub-national levels, and - within the European Union - at the European level. This straightforward, but largely ignored, observation raises important questions about how parties deal with their multi-level activities. For example, how do parties organize themselves across different levels? And how do they design and coordinate their electoral strategies across different - national, sub-national or supra-national - elections?

Figures and Tables:
None.

Sixth Paragraph:
Only recently have analyses of territorial aspects of the party organization and strategies started to appear (e.g. Carty, 2004; Deschouwer, 2003, 2005; Hopkin, 2003; Hough and Jeffery, 2006).2 While these contributions provide important starting points and possible frameworks for the study of these aspects, there is much need and room for further conceptual and empirical work. This issue contributes to meeting this need

Last updated March 2009