Measuring the Extent of Party Institutionalisation: The Case of a Populist Entrepreneur Party

Author (Person) ,
Series Title
Series Details Vol.37, No.5, September 2014, p932-956
Publication Date September 2014
ISSN 0140-2382
Content Type


The consensus among Finnish commentators is that the True Finn Party (PS), which grew dramatically to become the second largest electoral party in 2011, is an institutionalised party – that is, it is ‘here to stay’. Although led for virtually the whole of its 19-year existence by Timo Soini, the PS, unlike say Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Popolo Della Libertà, is not viewed as a ‘personal party’ in which its expected lifespan is dependent on the political lifespan of its founder-leader. But how institutionalised really is it and when can a party be said to be institutionalised? Building on the syndrome of properties widely ascribed to the process in the literature, the theoretical contribution of this article is to provide a composite definition and the first systematic operationalisation of the notion of party institutionalisation. The empirical section measures the extent of party institutionalisation using the populist-entrepreneur True Finn Party as a test case whilst the concluding discussion considers the wider question of the conceptual utility of institutionalisation for the analysis of party change.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Countries / Regions