Research Topic

Beyond the Secret Garden of Politics: Internal Party Dynamics of Candidate Selection

About this Research Topic

During the last decade, political parties have undergone important transformations. The Great Recession, people’s discontent with politicians, the protests and social movements that emerged as a result of it, as well as the emergence or growth of populist and other types of challenger parties in different countries, have left a deep mark on parties’ internal life. One of the distinctive elements brought forward was democratization of parties’ internal structures, especially participation in different realms.

It is timely to evaluate how parties have adapted to these social and political challenges in a crucial function they perform: the selection of candidates. Have parties become internally more democratic? Are party elites interested in generating a more socially diverse pool of candidates ? Have parties and social movements deepened their connections? Do parties incorporate the environment to adapt to these challenges? Do these mechanisms of selection have consequences on the electoral success and survival of parties?

In this Research Topic we intend to offer a detailed analysis of the change occurred in recent years on internal party life. More specifically, the objective is to know in detail the process that begins in the recruitment of potential candidates to be representatives, continues on their selection to be inserted on the electoral lists and ends in the conformation of a parliament.

Studying the way in which candidates are selected is paramount, since candidates that are directly appointed by party elites tend to be more disciplined and have longer political careers than those elected through more democratic processes. The output is also different depending on the selection method, benefiting the most exclusive processes certain features, such as men with high academic credentials of education. The main goal of this Research Topic is to empirically analyze to what extent these dynamics have changed or deepened during the last decade.

In this Research Topic we understand the selection of candidates in a broad sense, ranging from recruitment to the final output: the composition of the national chambers of representatives and lastly, the survival of parties. We are interested in publishing articles, based on empirical evidence, to answer the following questions:

- Are political parties today more internally democratic than before the Great Recession?
- Are there higher levels of interconnectivity between political parties and social movements?
- Are the MPs’ profiles more socially diverse than a decade ago?
- What role do women play in political parties in candidate selection?
- Are candidates selected in primaries more electorally successful than candidates selected following more exclusive methods?
- What are the dynamics between parties’ internal structures and candidates’ selection method concerning the survival of parties?
- Are new parties more inclusive than traditional parties?
- Do the regulation of the countries and the internal regulation of the parties correspond to the actual practices of internal selection of the parties?


Keywords: Party dynamics, Candidate selection, Political parties, democratization, Party elites, Social movements


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

During the last decade, political parties have undergone important transformations. The Great Recession, people’s discontent with politicians, the protests and social movements that emerged as a result of it, as well as the emergence or growth of populist and other types of challenger parties in different countries, have left a deep mark on parties’ internal life. One of the distinctive elements brought forward was democratization of parties’ internal structures, especially participation in different realms.

It is timely to evaluate how parties have adapted to these social and political challenges in a crucial function they perform: the selection of candidates. Have parties become internally more democratic? Are party elites interested in generating a more socially diverse pool of candidates ? Have parties and social movements deepened their connections? Do parties incorporate the environment to adapt to these challenges? Do these mechanisms of selection have consequences on the electoral success and survival of parties?

In this Research Topic we intend to offer a detailed analysis of the change occurred in recent years on internal party life. More specifically, the objective is to know in detail the process that begins in the recruitment of potential candidates to be representatives, continues on their selection to be inserted on the electoral lists and ends in the conformation of a parliament.

Studying the way in which candidates are selected is paramount, since candidates that are directly appointed by party elites tend to be more disciplined and have longer political careers than those elected through more democratic processes. The output is also different depending on the selection method, benefiting the most exclusive processes certain features, such as men with high academic credentials of education. The main goal of this Research Topic is to empirically analyze to what extent these dynamics have changed or deepened during the last decade.

In this Research Topic we understand the selection of candidates in a broad sense, ranging from recruitment to the final output: the composition of the national chambers of representatives and lastly, the survival of parties. We are interested in publishing articles, based on empirical evidence, to answer the following questions:

- Are political parties today more internally democratic than before the Great Recession?
- Are there higher levels of interconnectivity between political parties and social movements?
- Are the MPs’ profiles more socially diverse than a decade ago?
- What role do women play in political parties in candidate selection?
- Are candidates selected in primaries more electorally successful than candidates selected following more exclusive methods?
- What are the dynamics between parties’ internal structures and candidates’ selection method concerning the survival of parties?
- Are new parties more inclusive than traditional parties?
- Do the regulation of the countries and the internal regulation of the parties correspond to the actual practices of internal selection of the parties?


Keywords: Party dynamics, Candidate selection, Political parties, democratization, Party elites, Social movements


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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