Conceptualization and typology of European regional parties: a note on methodology

Maxmilián Strmiska


The paper comments on issues of conceptualisation and typology of regional parties in Europe. Regional parties could be defined briefly as independent formations with regional identity, region–based legitimacy and region–based electoral resources. The territorial aspect of their identity and of their modus operandi is the crucial one in this respect. It should be reminded that a number of heterogeneous party phenomena could be subsumed under the label of regional parties. The existence of a genuine regional party family, which could be, eventually, included into the classic familles spirituelles scheme, is not obvious. It seems that recent attempts to conceptualise the regional (and/or ethno–regional) party family have only small chance to success. Moreover, it should not be taken for granted that invention of such party family would enhance the capacity for comparative research into the European regional party phenomena. It could be a counter–productive move. There is an implicit danger to be avoided: that of conceiving of the differences between regional parties and non–regional parties as the differences between party families. However, these differences are not of the same kind. The paper proposes to distinguish several types of regional parties according to their origins (genuine regional autonomist parties, regionalized branches of state–wide parties etc.) which could allow for a sophisticated explanation of their heterogeneity and of various combinations of the systemic properties of regional parties. It is also suitable to pay more attention to the differing opportunity structures and to the compounded nature of territorial–political operational space of regional parties.

Bibliografická citace

Strmiska, M. (2003). Conceptualization and typology of European regional parties: a note on methodology. Středoevropské politické studie, 5(2–3). Získáno z

Klíčová slova

Regional parties; conceptualization; typology; Europe

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