Local Party Organizations in the Twenty-First Century

By Douglas D. Roscoe & Shannon Jenkins

Subjects: Political Parties, Electoral Politics, Political Science, American History
Paperback : 9781438459509, 170 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438459493, 170 pages, December 2015

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Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures
1. Party Organizations in Their Environment
2. Connections and Cooperation in the State Party Confederacy
3. Organizational Structure and Activity at the Local Level
4. The Electoral Payoff
5. The Future of Local Party Organizations
Appendix: Local Party Chair Survey

Demonstrates how local political parties have retained a role of critical importance in American politics.


While the media pay the most attention to the actions of the national political committees, political scientists have long emphasized the key role of local party organizations. Despite sweeping changes in the political environment, remarkably little research has sought to understand precisely how these local parties are structured, what they do, and whether they have any impact on the political system. In Local Party Organizations in the Twenty-First Century, Douglas D. Roscoe and Shannon Jenkins use data collected from more than 1,100 local parties in forty-eight states to provide the most thorough examination of the role of local political parties in the US political system, something that has been lacking in contemporary accounts of the role of parties. They show that party organizations take particular forms and engage in certain activities because political actors find these forms and activities useful for winning elections. While past research has centered primarily on the role of national and state political parties in the United States, this book demonstrates the continuing central role of local political parties in the electoral process, providing readers with a more comprehensive understanding of the US party system.

At the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Douglas D. Roscoe is Associate Professor of Political Science and Shannon Jenkins is Associate Professor of Political Science.


"This book is a must read for academics and graduate students who study political parties and for those who participate in electoral politics … Essential. " — CHOICE

". ..very highly recommended. " — Midwest Book Review