Standing Out from the Crowd: Political Parties’ Candidate (S)election in the Transatlantic World

Standing Out from the Crowd - Transatlantic Candidate Selection

In the hyper-competitive landscape of modern political contests, parties must consider every possible opportunity to enhance their prospects of appealing to voters and winning elections. And while clear manifestos and policy objectives are important elements of a successful electoral campaign, parties cannot ignore that the increasing personalization of politics has elevated the need to revisit candidate (s)election practices. The name on a ticket can make or break a party’s chance for electoral success, and in many cases, have a dramatic impact on a party’s future.

Because candidate (s)election has become such an important function of political parties, the International Republican Institute has partnered with party operatives, experts, and leaders across the Transatlantic world to explore how the practices of candidate (s)election have evolved in recent years. “Standing Out from the Crowd: Political Parties’ Candidate (S)election in the Transatlantic World,” examines candidate (s)election methods in a dozen countries across Europe, as well as the United States, to provide political parties with fresh ideas and pathways to better navigate candidate recruitment and selection to increase electoral competitiveness.

From closed, open, and hybrid systems of party primaries, to the deployment of digital and analytical tools to reach voters, the publication offers a comprehensive assessment of the many factors that contribute to and influence candidate (s)election. Gathered from the experiences and expertise of our partner authors, each chapter in the full publication explores the specific context of a national political environment and analyzes the ways in which parties execute candidate (s)election. Based on these findings, IRI also releases a summary report, which consolidates the full publication’s main findings and presents several thematic discussions on the topic of candidate (s)election.     

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