Selection criteria of membership and delegate conferences

by OK

Danny Schindler: More free-floating, less outward-looking. How more inclusive candidate selection procedures (could) matter, in: Party Politics (online first). (DOI: 10.1177/1354068820926477)

In the face of the trend toward more participatory candidate nomination methods, studies increasingly focus on its consequences for the selection outcome. Yet, this string of literature has brought to light some inconsistent findings. They do not surprise given the complexity of selection decisions and the dependence of nomination results on the set of who is running for a candidacy. Drawing on representative survey data collected before the 2017 Bundestag election, the article looks at the potential implications of different procedures by examining how the selection criteria of membership and delegate conferences vary. It shows that both selectorate types differ as to process-related selection criteria but less regarding candidate-related features. More specifically, membership conferences can be associated with more open decisions as their participants attach less importance to coordination mechanisms like leadership proposals. At the same time, they less consider the external consequences of their choices since criteria that increase a candidate’s chances to enter parliament play a smaller role than among delegates. The study points to implications of inclusive procedures which might not be desired by the party leadership and may not serve the party’s electoral interests in the worst case.

The article is published in: Party Politics (online first).

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