Parties and governance: extending the territory?

David Hanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multi-level governance has affected political parties as much as other institutions. Created within nation-states as the latter developed democratic structures, they sought to represent the interests of groups deriving from the societal cleavages found everywhere as modernization occurred across Europe. At the same time they developed material bases and interests of their own. To enhance these and to continue representing their core supporters, they have always been ready to move into new arenas, first the sub-national and latterly the EU level. The transnational parties (TNP) created by all political families at this level are vehicles for seeking new influence. But just as national governments have yielded sovereignty only with reluctance, so the national parties that run the TNP have kept for themselves most of the main facets of party activity. The main functions devolved to the TNP would seem to be elite networking, identity building and the socialization/induction of new members from enlargement states.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
JournalRegional and Federal Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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