New parties the world over are using technology to enhance democratic engagement, and the UK could be nextby Geoff Mulgan / December 30, 2014 / Leave a comment
This is an exciting moment for new parties in Europe, such as the UK Independence Party, Germany’s Alternative fuer Deutschland, the Finns Party and the Sweden Democrats, all of whom are benefitting from anger and distrust directed against incumbent politicians and elites. Many of them have now progressed to become serious contenders for power.
Most of the debate about these parties has focused on their programmes—populist, anti-European Union and anti-immigrant. There has been much less attention paid to what kind of parties these are—their structure, and the methods used to organise themselves and promote their message—and what other kinds of party might emerge in years to come.
Most of the newer parties on the populist right are very traditional in their methods, made up of local branches, national conferences and predominantly middle-aged, white male leaderships. But other new parties are radically reinventing how they work and may point to a very different future for the political party, both mainstream and otherwise. Five Star in Italy is best known elsewhere