Abstract and Keywords
This article describes the development of national party organizations, their relationship with other party committees, and their evolving role in contemporary elections. Changes in the parties' environment and internal governance fostered the emergence of a candidate-centered election system. The institutionalization of the national party organizations refers to their becoming fiscally solvent, organizationally stable, larger and more diversified in their staffing, and adopting professional-bureaucratic decision-making procedures. The institutionalization of the national party organizations has provided them with the resources to develop a variety of state and local party-building programs. Major national party organizational change usually occurs in response to electoral instability and political unrest. The reemergence of national party organizations has resulted in their becoming important players in twenty-first-century party politics and elections.
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