Different Ways of Institutionalising Entrepreneurial Parties: Czech Public Affairs Party and ANO Cover Image
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Different Ways of Institutionalising Entrepreneurial Parties: Czech Public Affairs Party and ANO
Different Ways of Institutionalising Entrepreneurial Parties: Czech Public Affairs Party and ANO

Author(s): Vít Hloušek, Lubomír Kopeček
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Social Sciences
Published by: Mezinárodní politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity v Brně
Keywords: entrepreneurial parties; Vít Bárta; Andrej Babiš; Public Affairs; ANO

Summary/Abstract: This article analyses and compares two Czech entrepreneurial parties, Public Affairs (VV) and ANO (meaning ‘yes’ in Czech). Both parties achieved great success in the first parliamentary elections in which they contested; however, whereas VV quickly collapsed, the success of ANO proved to be sustainable. The theoretical framework of the article is the development model of institutionalisation proposed by Robert Harmel and Lars Svåsand, which has three phases: identification, organisation and stabilisation. We show that in the identification phase the leaders of both parties, Vít Bárta (VV) and Andrej Babiš (ANO), proved to exploit the crisis in traditional political representation and the hunger for new parties and personalities effectively, while successfully developing their protest appeals. The differences were visible during the organisation phase. On the one hand, Bárta’s strategy of dual leadership (formal and actual) of his party caused conflicts, defections and undesirable media attention. On the other hand, Babiš’s leading role in the new party was clear. He also constructed the party’s internal mechanisms, and as such was able to control intraparty dissent. The problems of Bárta’s VV deepened in the stabilisation phase. The combination of unmanaged government engagement and growing scandals discredited the party. By contrast, Babiš was able to gradually transform ANO into a competent and credible government party. This successful stabilisation greatly helped to facilitate an efficient and disciplined party organisation, ‘accommodating the neutrality’ of some important media, effective communication with voters and improvement of the economic situation.

  • Issue Year: XXIV/2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 92-115
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: English