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Why Party Members Matter?
Why Party Members Matter?

The Concept of High-quality Membership in Polish Political Parties: Communicational and Organizational Potential

Author(s): Maria Wincławska, Barbara Brodzińska-Mirowska
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Governance
Published by: Mezinárodní politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity v Brně
Keywords: party membership; high–quality membership; party organization; strategic political communication; relationship between party and its members

Summary/Abstract: Despite the decrease in membership in European political parties, members still have an important role to play. In this paper we introduce the concept of high-quality membership (HQM) and show the organizational and communication potential of party grassroots. We distinguished factors to be taken into account in order to build the concept of party HQM. Only then is the organizational and communication potential of party membership able to be maximized. We argue that high-quality membership is valuable for parties because it helps them to establish and maintain links with voters, who then elect representatives into local, regional, and national governments; members help to collect information, understand problems and seek solutions important to local communities and to society in general; finally, HQM helps to improve the image of the party in society. The questions we raise in this article do not concentrate entirely on the above functions of party members since we advance that if a party would like to benefit from high-quality membership it must first obtain basic knowledge about its members, their needs, expectations and judgements. Therefore, in this article we discuss what kind of knowledge is necessary for parties to achieve the goal of HQM, and how the role of members is now understood and assessed by party leaders.

  • Issue Year: XXVI/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 3-21
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: English