Have You Ever Seen the Void? Interest Groups Concerns Toward the Weakening Representational Role of Political Parties in European Countries
Keywords:representation, intermediation, interest groups, comparative perspective
AbstractContemporary democracies face a trend toward the diffusion of the representational void left by under- legitimized political parties (Mair 2013). The essential functions of traditional political parties to organize and articulate political conflict and societal interests have been challenged both from the inside of the party system, by the emergence of populist habits of newcomers, and from the outside, by the progressive erosion of old political culture and corresponding increasing of hostility feeling. Intermediaries organizations of political and economic interests usually push their demands toward political actors in order to shape policy choices. What can happen when the traditional party system suffers from de- legitimation? In this paper, I will try to understand the level of concern of interest organizations toward the progressive detachment of civil society from political actors, in order to define if the risk of a void of representation is perceived as real and contingent. Thanks to a new original European dataset (the Comparative Interest Groups Survey), the analysis shows that different types of interest groups perceive the void to be real and with a possible impact on their activities and their own survival. As expected, in the regression model, differences emerge between countries with a traditional strong interests’ system and countries where groups activities are usually barely regulated. The results support the idea that the distance between civil society and political representatives should be considered a prominent focus of contemporary social and political investigation in order to understand the challenge for democratic life and the possible strategy of reaction.
How to Cite
Fiorelli, C. (2020). Have You Ever Seen the Void? Interest Groups Concerns Toward the Weakening Representational Role of Political Parties in European Countries. European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 6(1), 70–84. https://doi.org/10.26417/ejis-2019.v5i2-280
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