Path: Janda: Political Parties, Home Page > Part 1: Table of Contents > Chapter 9
Kenneth Janda, Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey (New York: The Free Press, 1980)
Chapter 9: Degree of Organization (pp. 98-107), this is p. 98
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(Text below as published in 1980 citation above)

PARTY ORGANIZATION is often cited as the major independent variable in explaining party "effectiveness" (see Katz and Eldersveld 1961; Cutright and Rossi 1958; Gatlin 1968; and Crotty 1968). From an alternative theoretical perspective, the degree of organization is seen to depend on other variables, such as the party's ideological commitment and the nature of the electoral system. Regardless of the theoretical approach, most analyses of political parties devote considerable attention to party organization.

"Organization" is an alias for several different concepts in party analysis, however. One common usage of "organization" pertains to the concentration of power within the party; a party with a "strong organization" is one that is centrally directed. This particular usage of the term is subsumed by the concept in the next chapter, plainly labeled "centralization of power." A second sense of organization relates to the stability of interaction patterns within the party; a "well-organized" party is one that functions smoothly in executing its activities, time after time. We do not use the term in this sense either, for it blends into our previous concept, "institutionalization."

Our usage of "organization" conforms instead to Anderson's "formalization" dimension in his review of organizational theory and the study of political parties. Anderson defines "formalization" as structured patterns of interaction that are prescribed either by formal rules of procedure or by traditions and unwritten rules (1968, pp. 398-399). The more formalized the organization, the more structured the behavior patterns--with ''structure" meaning ''complexity.'' This same concept is labeled "structural differentiation" by other writers and it seems identical to Huntington's "complexity-simplicity" dimension of political institutions (1965, p. 399). It appears that this conceptualization of party organization also equates with what Duverger usually means in his diverse references to the structural "articulation" of a party. Following Blau's general definition of an organization (1968, p. 298), we define "degree of organization" specifically as the complexity of regularized procedures for mobilizing and coordinating the efforts of party supporters in executing the party's strategy and tactics. Seven basic variables are advanced as operational measures of degree of organization. A number of these measures, outlined below, are inspired by Crotty's indices of party organization (1968, pp. 290-303).

8.01 -- Structural Articulation
8.02 -- Intensiveness of Organization
8.03 -- Extensiveness of Organization
8.04 -- Frequency of Local Meetings
8.05 -- Frequency of National Meetings
8.06 -- Maintaining Records
8.07 -- Pervasiveness of Organization
Basic Variable 8.01: Structural Articulation

Duverger attributes considerable explanatory power to the concept of "general articulation" in party organization, which he contends has "a profound influence upon its militants, upon its ideological unity, and the efficacy of its action, and even upon its methods and principles" (1963, p. 40). In an effort to separate his usage of "articulation" in an organizational sense from its usage in the sense of interest articulation, we refer to this variable as "structural articulation."

Duverger takes pains to distinguish his concept of articulation from that of centralization of power, but he is clearer in stating what the concept is not than in defining the concept positively. Although he introduces the concept with reference to "the arrangements for linking and relating the primary groups of the party" (1963, p. 40), he later stresses the importance of distinguishing between strong and weak articulation, on the one hand, and between vertical and horizontal links, on the other (1963, p. 47). He also associates the articulation concept with the degree of structural identity and the degree of clarity in prescribing how positions in the structure are attained.

We can fashion an explicit definition of structural articulation using the three basic ideas in Duverger's im-

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