The State and the Parties: Public Funding, Public Regulation and Rent-Seeking in Contemporary Democracies

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This article focuses on the relationship between political parties and the state. We propose an analytical framework distinguishing between three different dimensions of the party-state linkage: the dependence of parties on the state, the management of parties by the state and the control of the state by parties. We provide a cross-national empirical analysis of the relationship between parties and the state in contemporary liberal democracies. Our analysis underscores the considerable importance of the state for political parties in general. It also highlights important differences between old and new democracies, as well as important regional differences in terms of the nature of the relationship between parties and the state in the recently established democracies. We argue that these different types of linkages are highly relevant for party system development and the nature of democracy.


Original languageEnglish
JournalParty Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • public regulation, patronage, corruption, public funding, clientelism