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William Cross and André Blais, "Who selects the party leader?" Party Politics, 18 (March, 2012) 127-150. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol18/issue2/ ]

First paragraph:
In this article, we examine who selects the leader in contemporary political parties. Finding that many parties are engaging in organizational innovation by expanding the leadership selectorate beyond the parliamentary caucus, the analysis identifies the factors that result in this change. The article addresses the literature on both intra-party democracy and party organizational change and innovation

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Role of grassroots members in party leadership selection
Table 2. Status of parties at time of increasing the relative influence of party members in leadership selection: UK, Ireland and Canada (1965 to 2009)
 

Last Paragraph:
This study has focused entirely on why parties do or do not grant their members a greater say in the selection of the leader. We have not addressed the many issues that result from this change, such as whether it leads to different types of leaders being chosen, how it subsequently affects the balance of power within the party and whether it makes leaders more or less secure. There is also the question of whether democratizing the process fosters a better electoral performance. These are the next crucial questions in understanding the impact of this reform on party organization.

Last updated March 2012