The Movement Party – Winning Elections and Transforming Democracy in a Digital Era : Reflections on Paolo Gerbaudo’s Chapter
Chapter from the book: Chandler D. & Fuchs C. 2019. Digital Objects, Digital Subjects: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Capitalism, Labour and Politics in the Age of Big Data.
This essay reflects on Paolo Gerbaudo’s argument that the prevailing forms of political organisation in a given era follow the dominant models of economic organisation. Instead, it suggests that the evolution of the political party form can also be connected to changing trends of electioneering as a result of developments in communication technologies. This essay further examines the status of digital parties as movement parties that have a dual purpose: to win the electoral game and to radically reform the system of representative democracy once they are in power. Their internal contradictions, with the strengthening of both a hyperleadership and a superbase, may be explained by these two often contradictory objectives. At the same time, I argue that political parties are currently in a transitional period when it is easier to think of them as combining the logics of preceding party forms, but difficult to accurately describe the new model of party organisation that is emerging.