True to Their Name? Activities of Niche Political Parties in the Legislative Process Cover Image

Věrni svému jménu? Jak politické strany mezery působí v legislativním procesu
True to Their Name? Activities of Niche Political Parties in the Legislative Process

Author(s): Jaroslav Bílek, Jakub Lysek, Robert Zbíral
Subject(s): Electoral systems, Political behavior
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Sociologický ústav
Keywords: niche parties; legislative process; parliament; legislation; political parties

Summary/Abstract: Compared to mainstream parties, niche parties represent a category of political parties that are said to be different in how they approach to their programme and voters. As the term ‘niche’ suggests, the programmes of these parties tend to be focused on issues that are either overlooked or insufficiently addressed by other political parties. The rich contemporary theoretical discussion on niche parties has noted that they focus more on defending their programme than exercising political power. This assumption, however, has not been tested on empirical data on the real activity of niche parties in the political arena. The goal of this study is to fill this gap in knowledge and verify this theoretical assumption by conducting a statistical analysis of the activities of six niche parties in selected stages of the negotiation of various bills in the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic between 1996 and 2020. The analysis large confirmed the theoretical assumption we set out to test. However, the results of our analysis also reveal that there are noticeable differences in the activity of niche parties. Entrepreneurial niche parties participate in the legislative process on average less than other niche parties.

  • Issue Year: 57/2021
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 433-454
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Czech