Career Backgrounds, Professional Network and Party Cohesion: The Success of ANO in the Czech Republic Cover Image
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Career Backgrounds, Professional Network and Party Cohesion: The Success of ANO in the Czech Republic
Career Backgrounds, Professional Network and Party Cohesion: The Success of ANO in the Czech Republic

Author(s): Tomáš Cirhan, Petr Kopecký
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Social Sciences
Published by: Mezinárodní politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity v Brně
Keywords: party unity; party cohesion; elite professional networks; career pathway analysis

Summary/Abstract: The volatile and unstable party systems in East Central Europe are associated with the emergence of new parties. However, some such new parties survive and become part of the party system they entered while other newcomers fade away even after they record major electoral success or gain government participation. How can we explain the contrasting fortunes of new parties? What explains their persistence and organizational survival? In this paper, we try to find the answers to these questions by linking the organizational success of new parties to the composition of their elites. We suggest that the similarity in professional and career backgrounds contributes to parties’ organizational success by increasing party cohesion, especially at the level of party leadership. We demonstrate our arguments on three new Czech parties – Public Affairs (VV), Dawn of Direct Democracy (Dawn) and ANO – with contrasting political and organizational fortunes. Using data on elites’ career and political pasts we show that, unlike ANO, VV and Dawn have comparatively more heterogeneous elite circles which, we suggest, make them more vulnerable to internal conflicts.

  • Issue Year: XXIV/2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 116-136
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: English