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Political Parties and Democratic Developmental States

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This article focuses on the contribution, actual or potential, of political parties to the project of a ‘democratic developmental state’. In the classic developmental state, individual hegemonic parties often, though by no means always, played a key role. However, on the available evidence, parties make a very limited contribution to the emergence of new democratic developmental states, in terms of either democracy-building or policy-making, recruitment, ensuring accountability or policy implementation. Reasons include weak institutionalisation and the prevalence of clientelism. External assistance, nevertheless, is likely to be limited in impact and, given the importance of autonomous party development, should ideally be indirect.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Government, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ ( )., Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2007


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