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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 6: Causal Models

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As a last step, a causal analysis presents the indirect effect of more distant variables on local party government. The analysis is repeated for the two electoral systems separately.

The causal model can be simplified by focusing only on those variables that have a significant impact on the level of local party institutionalization. It is not worth investigating the variables that have only a small impact on the dependent variable. The weight of an indirect route from variable A via variable B to the dependent variable is computed as the multiplication of the effects of the relationships between A and B and between B and the dependent variable (see Section 3.4 for more discussion of causal modeling). If any of the two relationships is very small, the indirect effect will be necessarily tiny. For example, the relationship between A and B may be relatively important, say 0.4, but a low coefficient, say 0.03, between B and the dependent variable leads to an indirect effect of (0.4x0.03)=0.012. Partial coefficients close to zero make the indirect effect also close to zero.

Consequently, it is enough to concentrate on the following variables: population size, functional size, urbanization, migration, citizens’ resources, and social and political participation. Other variables will be included into the models explaining the variance of the selected variables close to local party institutionalization, but their direct impact on the dependent variable will not be examined.

Political participation is the most politically independent variable and...

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