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Economy and Political Parties: The Impact of the Economic Conditions on the Party Membership Trend in England and Germany, 1950-1994
Unformatted Document Text:  4 integration dialectic process. The national and industrial revolutions determined the political conflicts which were along the social class line. The effort of the central governments to unify and bureaucratize the nations led to the conflict between urban versus rural dwellers and major versus minor cultures. On the other hand, the emergence of industrialized and manufactured economies brought about the conflict between the employers and the workers and between the urban industrialists and the peasant land owners. According to Lipset and Rokkan (1967), political parties function as the political organizations representing particular social cleavages, and they tried to mobilize citizens along the demographic (or social cleavage) line. As a result, the structural organization of political parties was created and organized in accordance with what social classes the founders were affiliated with. The political parties of the upper and middle class were created by the groups of noble men, financier, and urban industrialists (with the collaboration of rural peasant and land owners) in order to oppose the emergence of mass-based political organizations by the working class. Duverger (1954) pointed out that instead of expanding party memberships, the right wing parties did not pay much attention to party membership, but they carefully recruited the members. As a result, the size of the rightist parties is smaller than that of the leftist parties. On the other hand, the left-wing parties increased recruiting memberships from the affiliated organizations such as trade unions or worker associations. A second group of political scientists concentrates on the ‘rational-individual decision’. They argued that the change of party organization derives from the decision of party leaders. Influenced by circumstances, the party leaders make a decision whether the

Authors: Laiprakobsup, Thanapan.
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integration dialectic process. The national and industrial revolutions determined the
political conflicts which were along the social class line. The effort of the central
governments to unify and bureaucratize the nations led to the conflict between urban
versus rural dwellers and major versus minor cultures. On the other hand, the emergence
of industrialized and manufactured economies brought about the conflict between the
employers and the workers and between the urban industrialists and the peasant land
owners. According to Lipset and Rokkan (1967), political parties function as the political
organizations representing particular social cleavages, and they tried to mobilize citizens
along the demographic (or social cleavage) line.
As a result, the structural organization of political parties was created and
organized in accordance with what social classes the founders were affiliated with. The
political parties of the upper and middle class were created by the groups of noble men,
financier, and urban industrialists (with the collaboration of rural peasant and land
owners) in order to oppose the emergence of mass-based political organizations by the
working class. Duverger (1954) pointed out that instead of expanding party memberships,
the right wing parties did not pay much attention to party membership, but they carefully
recruited the members. As a result, the size of the rightist parties is smaller than that of
the leftist parties. On the other hand, the left-wing parties increased recruiting
memberships from the affiliated organizations such as trade unions or worker
associations.
A second group of political scientists concentrates on the ‘rational-individual
decision’. They argued that the change of party organization derives from the decision of
party leaders. Influenced by circumstances, the party leaders make a decision whether the


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