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Imke Harbers, "States and strategy in new federal democracies: Competitiveness and intra-party resource allocation in Mexico," Party Politics, 20 (November, 2014), 823-835. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
In new democracies the consolidation and survival of the political regime is closely linked to the development of a strong party system. A growing body of research demonstrates that parties are vital for the health of democracy and that democracy is more likely to thrive where a stable set of well-organized and territorially comprehensive political parties links citizens to the state (e.g. Hagopian and Mainwaring, 2005; Mainwaring, 1998). Constitutional architects in new democracies therefore devote considerable attention to designing institutions that are conducive to the emergence of strong parties. As parties provide an 'essential public good for democracy' (van Biezen, 2004: 702), direct public funding for political parties has become the norm (Casas-Zamora, 2005; van Biezen and Kopeck?, 2007). Yet, we know relatively little about the way in which parties spend this money and which considerations underlie intra-party resource allocation in new democracies. In particular, the territorial dimension of resource allocation remains poorly understood. In light of the global trend towards decentralized governance, however, it has become increasingly important to conceptualize parties as multi-level organizations and to develop a better understanding of vertical interactions within parties (Deschouwer, 2003, 2006).

Figure 1. Streams of public funding and political money in Mexico.
Figure 2. Intra-party transfers, 1998-2007.
Table 1. System of seemingly unrelated regressions on intra-party transfers to state branches.

Last Paragraph:
Additionally, the results of this article offer new insights into the emergence and persistence of authoritarian enclaves within national democracies (e.g. Gibson, 2010; Giraudy, 2010). The literature argues that subnational authoritarian leaders engage in 'boundary control'. In this view, the survival of enclaves is possible where governors succeed in cutting the local opposition off from allies and resources in the national arena (Gibson, 2005: 103). Yet, because cash transfers from national to local party branches are a significant linkage mechanism, it is important to focus not only on the policies of governors but also on the support co-partisans at the national level provide for the local opposition. Unfortunately, these are likely to see transfers to branches in such states as particularly poor investments because of the low likelihood of electoral victories. Directing transfers towards competitive races therefore means that the local opposition in authoritarian enclaves is in danger of remaining anemic not only because it is harassed by the governor, but also because national co-partisans fail to provide support.

Last updated November 2014