The future of party democracy: Cartel parties and their challengers at the European level – A panel in honour of Professor Peter Mair

Parallel Session B.4 – 10:45 – 12:00, Thursday 2 May, Sala Lounge, Villa Salviati, EUI

Abstract: This panel draws on the body of work on party organisation by Peter Mair and Richard Katz culminating in Democracy and the Cartelization of Political Parties (Oxford University Press 2018), as well as on the Horizontal Euroscepticism (Bardi 2014) project based on the premise that cartel parties have grown less responsive to citizens’ expectations. Cartel parties are increasingly part of the state, and increasingly removed from society. Dissensus among their supporters has grown, causing declining levels of attachment in traditional support groups and declining vote shares for the mainstream parties. This process also affects the EU and its democracy. European political parties, which represent the party cartel at EU level, have demonstrated an inability to identify and give adequate responses to the issues that concern European citizens. Anti-Europeans have effectively become the agenda-setters in the political debate, not only increasing the public appeal of criticism towards the EU, but also exacerbating tensions between member states. With a focus on the 2019 European elections, the panel brings together leading scholars in the field of Party Democracy and Euroscepticism to discuss this phenomenon.

Moderator: Stefano Bartolini, Peter Mair Chair in Comparative Politics, EUI


Luciano Bardi, President, Observatory on Political Parties and Representation, University of Pisa and Professor, Alcide de Gasperi Research Centre, EUI

Richard Katz, Professor of Political Science, John Hopkins University, Baltimore