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Emilie van Haute and R. Kenneth Carty, "Ideological misfits: A distinctive class of party members," Party Politics, 18 (November, 2012), 885-895. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
In an era in which it is possible to conceive of 'parties without partisans' (Dalton and Wattenberg, 2000), much thought has been given to the general decline in party membership that is characteristic of most Western democracies (Mair and Van Biezen, 2001), and has made the question of who joins political organizations one that commands considerable attention (van Haute, 2009). 1 Comparative analysis indicates that the story is complex, and that simple models of the resources possessed by individuals need to recognize the impact of mobilization mechanisms and institutional structures (Morales, 2008). In this article, we focus our attention on those who are already party members and ask about their continuing membership, particularly members who admit that they do not share their party's ideological outlook. We ask who they are and what impact they have on their parties and the wider party system.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Party members: Perceptions of self and party (%)
Table 2. Characteristics of party misfits (%)
Table 3. Identifying misfits by party (significant relationship)

Last Paragraph:
More generally, the presence of misfits in parties all across the systems seems to constitute a counter-balance to any Downsian impulse towards convergence. Recognizing their presence would seem to be an important first step in understanding the impact of activists in shaping the dynamics of party politics.

Last updated November 2012