|Arter, David, Kestilä-Kekkonen, Elina
|West European Politics
|Vol.37, No.5, September 2014, p932-956
|Journal | Series | Blog
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.
|Politics and International Relations
|Countries / Regions