Chaotic but popular? extreme-right organisation and performance in the age of media communication
AuthorEllinas, Antonis A.
SourceJournal of Contemporary European Studies
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A notable strain in the literature suggests that party organisation has a net causal effect on the electoral performance of extreme-right parties. This view rests on a somewhat fuzzy definition and static conceptualisation of party organisation. Moreover, this organisational exegesis fails to fully acknowledge the impact of media communications on modern parties. The analysis of the evolution of the French National Front and the consideration of other extreme-right party trajectories casts doubt on conventional accounts of organisational effects pointing to various venues for future research. Party organisation does not affect how parties perform at the ballot box during their earlier phase of development but seems to explain why some parties survive their initial electoral breakthroughs while others collapse. The media can help parties overcome their early organisational deficiencies, but can also undermine future organisational growth. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.