Party Identification and Support for Democracy in Croatia Cover Image

Stranačka identifikacija i potpora demokraciji u Hrvatskoj
Party Identification and Support for Democracy in Croatia

Author(s): Goran Čular
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Fakultet političkih znanosti u Zagrebu
Keywords: democratic legitimacy; Croatia; new democracies; political parties; support for democracy; party identification;

Summary/Abstract: Starting from the research results indicating weakening of the ties between the political parties and the citizens in West-European democracies, the author poses the question: what has been happening with the party functions of the democratic legitimation of polities? By juxtaposing two interpretations, one about the “mutual murder” of the political parties and the democracy, and the other about the weakening of political parties as a “modernizing” proces that does not jeopardize democratic polity, the author examines the possibility of having these hypotheses tested on the example of Croatia as a new democracy. The analysis – bearing in mind that all the conclusions based on the “travelling explanations” are of dubious value – has shown that Croatia is, tentatively speaking, nearer to the “modernizing” interpretation. Namely, there is not enough evidence that political parties as institutions are crucial for the growth of public support to a democratic polity. The role of parties as actors, i.e. in the sense of political elites with a recognizable attitude to democracy, is much more important in that respect. The author warns that the withering of the direct legitimizing role of political parties in new democracies does not necessarily imply a decreased importance of other functions of political parties in maintaining the democratic process.

  • Issue Year: XL/2003
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 3-24
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Croatian