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Lori Thorlakson, "Patterns of Party Integration, Influence and Autonomy in Seven Federations," Party Politics, 15 (March, 2009), 157-177.

First paragraph:
Federalism presents political parties with both opportunities and threats. By creating multiple important sites for political organization and competition, each with constitutionally guaranteed autonomy in at least some policy areas (Riker, 1964), federalism gives parties the opportunity to compete and capture significant rewards of office in both arenas, and use their organizational and electoral strength within each state to build a strong federal party.1 In turn, the state organizations can benefit from the overall strength of the federal party. However, the dual prizes of state and federal office can create tensions within the party. Variations in the economic and social conditions and priorities across the units of the federation or an unpopular federal party leader may make it difficult for a state-level party to respond to their local electoral base without bringing it into conflict with the federal level of the party organization (Filippov et al., 2004; Kramer, 1994).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Dimensions of federal institutional design: resource centralization and method of power allocation in six federations, 1974-1999
Table 2. Organizational form and degree of integration and autonomy in 27 political parties
Table 3. Measures of central tendency: influence and autonomy, by country
Table 4. Cross-tabulation of levels of influence and autonomy in integrated parties
Table 5. Pearson correlations: degree of centralization, party autonomy and influence
Table 6. Mean influence and autonomy scores, by method of power division
Table 7. Classification of degree of state party autonomy by method of power division
Table 8. Classification of degree of state party influence by method of power division
Table 9. Mean influence and autonomy scores by party family
Appendix: Party Statutes and Party Websites

Last Paragraph:
The data from party statutes provide a useful picture of vertical integration and autonomy from a constitutional perspective. While difficult to collect, comparative data on informal forms of cooperation and coordination would be a valuable addition to our understanding of the linkages between state and federal parties by adding nuanced qualitative information on the modes of informal coordination and linkage within parties. This should be high on the agenda for further research on parties in multi-level contexts.

Last updated March 2009