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National Parties and European Legislators

Aldrich, Andrea Stephanie (2016) National Parties and European Legislators. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation examines the relationship between members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and national political parties by investigating how variation in party organization, in conjunction with the political goals of parties and individuals, affects European legislation and the representation of national interests. I examine the relationship between MEPs and their national parties through the methods and strategies parties use to select and supervise their party members serving in the European Parliament (EP). I identify patterns in candidate selection and supervision and determine how the electoral goals of parties in European elections lead them to make specific strategic choices for candidates and encourage specific behaviors in the EP. I argue that these choices, and the structure of party organization, influence the level of congruence between MEPs and their parties in European legislation. I determine that the single most important influence on both how a party organizes for European elections, and who they choose to represent them in the EP, is the national environment in which the party was founded and within which it was designed to function. The structure of national legislative institutions, and party systems and experience with the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone predict patterns in variation across party organizations with respect to their centralization of selection and supervision of MEPs. Similarly, European electoral goals are the result of domestic factors such as the position of the party in national government, party ideology for Europe, party system stability, and salience of EP elections. These goals determine the types of candidates, experienced in Europe, at the national level, or not all, that parties select to serve in the EP and how these MEPs view their role as a party representative. In addition, both organization and goals influence legislator behavior in a variety of ways. MEPs in policy seeking parties that centralize the selection of MEPs, and also include them in their party leadership provide the most congruent behavior to their parties.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Aldrich, Andrea Stephanieasa41@pitt.eduASA410000-0003-4418-254X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWoon, Jonwoon@pitt.eduWOON
Committee MemberSbragia, Albertasbragia@pitt.eduSBRAGIA
Committee MemberAlexiadou, Despinadalexia@pitt.eduDALEXIA
Committee MemberMcElroy,
Date: 15 January 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 October 2015
Approval Date: 15 January 2016
Submission Date: 1 September 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 219
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Party Organization, Legislative Politics, European Union, European Parliament, Electoral Goals
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 20:13
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:30


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