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Local Government Institutionalization in Hungary

Gábor Soós

Why are local political organizations enduring in certain municipalities and ephemeral in others? This book explores the systematic factors that influence the level of Local Party Institutionalization (LPI). The analysis of LPI in Hungary, a new democracy, shows that LPI there mainly depends on the electoral system, the functional size, stability and average age of the population. The local chapters of national parties, especially those of parliamentary parties, appear to be more durable than the civic organizations acting as local parties.
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Chapter 4: Local Party Government

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This chapter and the following three test the effect of the variables on local party institutionalization, as formulated and operationalized in the previous chapter. The present chapter uses party government as an indicator of local party institutionalization.

The degree to which parties rule local governments is an indicator of the level of local party institutionalization, especially its external legitimacy aspect: the local party government index is measured by the proportion of votes party organizations obtained at local elections. The chapter begins with an overview of the electoral results of non-independent candidates at municipal elections. This provides an opportunity to test the hypotheses about the potential relationship between the organizational form of local parties and their level of institutionalization. Then I characterize the bivariate associations between the measure of local party government and its potential determinants.

The multiple regression will be carried out for electoral systems separately, in order to avoid the problem stemming from the nonnormal distribution of the dependent variable. The final section assesses the findings from the viewpoint of the hypotheses to be tested.

In this section, I provide an overview of the dynamics of local party government and test the hypotheses about the importance of time and organizational type. As a first sensitizing step, I draw some conclusions from the general electoral data. Table 4.1 shows the frequency of organizational nominations in the four local elections that have taken place since the beginning of democracy.

A first observation may...

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