Across the West, traditional political parties have been in decline. Memberships are ageing and shrinking, party identification has weakened and disillusionment with the political system has grown. Parties have tried to respond by embracing a range of different reforms to reverse this decline.
In a climate of membership decline, will these party reforms re-invigorate the ideal of the mass party model of representation or has the breakdown of membership created a climate conducive to reforms that might fundamentally alter the way in which parties connect citizens and the state?
Anika Gauja will discuss reforms that political parties in Australia and overseas have undertaken, how it occurred and what the consequences might be - in terms of how we think about modern political parties as vehicles for participation and representation.
Anika Gauja is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She is the author of 'Party Reform', a new comparative study of the politics of party organisation.