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Elin H Allern and Tim Bale, "Political parties and interest groups: Disentangling complex relationships," Party Politics, 18 (January, 2012), 7-25. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
Party politics has always been about the representation of interests as well as the clash of ideas. In established democracies, many political parties emerged from social movements in opposition to the political establishment, and some political parties were even formally founded by interest groups (Duverger, 1954/1972; Panebianco, 1988). Even more used interest groups to communicate with their main constituencies. In the late nineteenth century, strong links were established between socialist parties and trade unions in Europe (see, e.g., Duverger, 1954/1972: 17 ff.; Padgett and Paterson, 1991: 177-85). Close relationships also existed between agrarian parties and farmers' unions, and between religious parties and organizations (e.g. Duverger, 1954/1972: 5-7; von Beyme, 1985: 192). Later, conservative parties and, among others, business associations established alliances (Schmitter, 2001: 82). For all this, however, only limited research has been conducted on such links to date (Allern, 2010; Thomas, 2001b, c; Warner, 2003).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Alternative conceptualizations of party-interest group relationship*

Last Paragraph:
(Next to last paragraph) The substantive articles of this special issue examine the nature of political parties' relationships with other organizations in different countries. Via four comparative, or implicitly comparative, case studies--which cover both northern and southern Europe Allern and Bale 19 Downloaded from by Kenneth Janda on December 16, 2011and hence polities dealt with by the cartel thesis itself and newer democracies--party- interest group links are examined across both time and space. In sum, we believe, they (further) qualify the common wisdom inspired by the cartel party thesis and related arguments that today's political parties generally have tenuous links to interest groups. By adopting a range of understandings and indicators, the articles also allow us to critically examine the rather fuzzy concept of party-group 'relationships'

Last updated December 2011