Supporting Political Party Systems - Experiences and Challenges

Division for Democratic Governance (ed) , Carothers Tom , Lars Svåsand , Olle Törnquist
The overall purpose of the workshop was to discuss international community efforts to support the emergence of functioning party systems in developing and transition countries. Challenges and opportunities pertaining to direct political party support versus support to party systems as such were discussed. Political parties do belong to the core political institutions of democracy - but have not been as much in focus as support to other sections of civil society. External support from donors, however, is very sensitive and may alter power relations for good or for worse. Country specific approaches and tailored support are of immense importance. There is also need for more studies and results based evaluations to pin down what works and what does not. Democracy Assistance researchers (Tom Carothers, Lars Svåsand, and Olle Törnquist) discussed these issues with representatives of Swedish political party foundations, International IDEA, representatives of Sida and Uppsala University.

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