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Political parties in conflict-prone societies: Regulation, engineering and democratic development

Reilly, B., Norlund, P. and Newman, E. (2008) Political parties in conflict-prone societies: Regulation, engineering and democratic development. Policy Brief, United Nations University, 2 . pp. 1-7.

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Political parties are an essential component of representative democracy. They organize voters, aggregate and articulate interests, craft policy alternatives, recruit and socialize new candidates for office, set policy-making agendas, integrate disparate groups and individuals into the democratic process, and provide the basis for coordinated electoral and legislative activity. Well-functioning political parties are therefore central to the process of democratic development.

Since the start of the third wave of democratization in 1974, various multiparty systems have been introduced in new, restored and emerging democracies around the world. Today more countries decide on their leaders through multiparty elections than ever before. The number of competitive democracies has increased threefold, and the number of political parties now contesting elections worldwide has increased many times more over the last 30 years.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Publisher: United Nations University Press
Copyright: Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI), International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), and United Nations University (UNU), 2008
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