Political Parties in the age of Globalization. Towards the Creation of the World Political Parties

From: Víctor Hugo López Llanos.

Abstract: This article aims to discuss and analyze the idea of political parties in the era of globalization , from the perspective of cosmopolitan political system. And to reflect the birth and transformation of the party system of national policy to the new international politics. Your challenges , scope and limitations of the emerging and sometimes utopian political parties worldwide activity .

Keywords : Political Parties , Globalization , Democracy, Political System Cosmopolitan, International Policy.

Today, many political decisions are made by international institutions , regardless of democratic participation and popular control. Political parties , relegated to domestic areas , have failed to establish international networks and its influence worldwide, is just palpable. How these formations are reacting to the new challenges posed by globalization and new global governance regimes ? Have you been able to adapt to the new international context? And most importantly , is there a need for global political parties, or their development would lead to a further deterioration of democracy?

 Heikki and Teivo Teivainen Patomäki . Global Political Parties .

No doubt that one of the major issues that political science has addressed for decades, is definitely the party system. Or what is commonly known as political parties.

The emergence of political parties is so long-lived that you can not set an accurate date of birth. The origin of political parties , in the broad sense , can be said to be very old and could place in tandem with the rise of political phenomenon. We can find throughout history various formations or groups who share a particular characteristic , either status , ideology or some activity in common.

For example centuries in Italy spoke of the parties of the Pope and the Emperor , in Greece and Rome could talk about the former dictator of the sophists , the opponents and supporters of Caesar, but where we can get more conceptualization of the word political party is undoubtedly from the “modern” debate. For although we can not establish a general definition of the concept , if we note that different authors have been concerned with studying the political parties.

At present , a political party is treated as ” organized citizens permanent grouping and that by legal conquest of public power, intends to make in the direction of the state, a particular social policy agenda ” ( Poviña , 1944 : 22) . The German sociologist Max Weber, states that can be understood by an organization political party participating in elections obtaining the monopoly of violence through competition.

Duverger through the analysis of political systems provides an important element in party life , that element is the ideological question . Sartori talks about partisan typology through numerical and qualitative element ( one-party , two-party , multiparty , hegemonic or spray ) . Briefly during most of the twentieth century. Concern focused on understanding the political parties , characterize and define them through specific cases , establishing which were impediments to consolidation .

However, through the triumph of democracy as the best form of government , in the theoretical debate comes a new trend by political parties understand this due to the effects that globalization has resulted in political matters .

Therefore, the aim of this essay is to discuss and enter into the realm of ideas about global political games organizers that manage power within the global political aspect .

How political parties are responding to the new challenges posed by globalization and the new regimes of “global governance” ? Is there a need for global political parties ? Does the creation of global political parties would lead to better or worse consolidation of democracy ?

Today the world is dominated by large international organizations , so there is a need for global political parties , in order to promote mediation between global politics and global governance .

The nature of the political process has changed in the sense that more and more decisions are made by global institutions like the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) , World Bank (WB) , international conventions , treaties, free trade , operating outside democratic participation and popular control , simply by going beyond what we know as the nation-state .

Within countries , the dynamics and functions of political parties has changed, this due to the inability to make decisions and stop being the main elements in the pursuit of power . Hence the displacement of the traditional political class by the managerial , professional or technocratic elite :

” Hence, the former state intra – ruling classes , elites and power groups now assume the secondary role in decision -making and give up their role to new technocratic class of domestic origin , although transnational interests .

Not that the old power groups have ceased to exist but its sphere of action is more concentrated than ever in terms of national decisions of a secondary nature , such as the organization of the electoral process, promotion of democratic culture and aspects of audit issues and transparency ” (Posadas , 2010 : 103) .

The decision of the technocratic elite, impact directly or indirectly in marginalized majorities , mainly women , children, adolescents and the elderly.

Traditional local political parties do not have the ability to influence decision -making at the national level , so that the political system must go through a process of transformation, so that we wonder is it the formation of political parties global solution this problem?

Countries in the European Union have begun to establish these new mechanisms of action by political parties , however academically has not addressed the debate on the formation thereof.

” Since 1979, the European Parliament has been one of the most important in terms of the formation of transnational parties spaces. This space is a clear example of the link between the appearance of charges that can be obtained and the transnationalization of political parties . Within Eurocentric , moreover characteristic limits of networks and federations of European parties, the experience of the European Parliament states that parties can evolve transnationally. Typically , members are grouped according to their political affiliations , not national blocks ” ( Patomäki and Teivamen , 2007 : 65) .

At present there are agencies that are grouped in communities facing partisan and ideological identification , as in the case of the Socialist International , comprising social democratic , socialist and labor political parties.

We can also find the International Democratic Union , an association of more than eighty conservatives, Democrats and related to the right parties , as well as the corporation of the Global Greens , this is a network of political parties and movements to action for ecological conservation , founded in 2001. This group promotes the Global Green Charter among Green parties around the world and combat the problem of ecological impact and global interest.

These organizations aim to distinguish and shape their views on public issues and global complexities , so partisan subsystems need to seize regulators of the public sphere (the government) for conservation but mostly to carry out its ideology into practice.

However, in the academic debate , the conceptualization of global political parties is not quite accepted , because at least in the first meeting of the World Social Forum , among theorists who participated in that meeting felt that ” the notion of political parties overall appearance is more Eurocentric and possibly political parties would be dominated by the rich and powerful of the world ” ( Katarina and Patomäki , 2006: 225) . This could generate a greater distance between society and global political parties , creating a conflict of interest and bias .

Establish the idea of the creation of global political parties is a highly complex issue , because the party system depends not only on the ideological or partisan structure of these institutions, but would also need to interfere in the debate on the formation of a political system , electoral system , as well as a representation system on a global scale . The problem is that the global citizen is not prepared for such a political phenomenon, since the peripheral countries are in the process of local democratic consolidation.

For example , the Middle East still totalitarian , authoritarian and dictatorial regimes . With regard to Latin America , most countries that are in the process make democratic consolidation or regression to authoritarian practices .

Also you would have to spread among the new subjects of politics, a habit of culture, political participation and representation where minorities and majorities global integrated.

What would the new political agent? and what could it mean the emergence of global political parties for world politics ? Would we have another alternative to what we know commonly left / right partisan ideological global stratification ?

On the ideological stratification, the neoliberal doctrine has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since the early 70’s of last century. David Harvey defines the triumph of neoliberalism. ” Due in part to the change in the re- structuring of the branches of government , so that finance and market processes are emphasized in privatization , while reducing state intervention in the economy ” (Harvey, 2011a).

As Harvey considers neoliberalism as the ” counter- elites to retake control and power over the masses. ” (Harvey , 2011b ) . For him neoliberalism is accurate to consolidate ruling class political parties point , due to the constant achievements of market interests .

Heikki Patomäki and Teivo Teivamen not consider the overall game as a simple deterioration of paper or the existence of the nation state , according to these authors , what is needed for the formation of political parties is an open process of creating more legitimate systems and democratic international governance , that encourages accountability and open new spaces of participation and representation .

The problem increases when the probable birth of global political parties discussed operational and realistic , because in the present are the same parties that have lost a considerable democratic impact , not being able to create credibility in the new how to manage social conflict through the government , at least in the local terrain.

However , some feel that the birth of global political parties would bring good rebellious elements that involve more people in the world on current issues such as global warming. The political economy would be increasingly balanced development and economic stability , plus best social policy programs that would create combat poverty , marginalization, as well as new forms of education. Also among the parties would encourage competition for best new structure better global conditions.

“Political parties may also commit more resources to research and training to increase the capacity of politicians and their staff to handle queries related to, for example, global migration flows , struggles against global diseases and trade weapons ” ( Scholte , 2006: 225) .

This argument shows that the formation of political parties and of world public / private sphere , would lead to an exacerbated cosmopolitanism , in which the dominant discourse of global parties lead to the formation of a world government would be inserted where ideas progress and human development, not only locally but also globally , reaching the beautiful utopia of what once called Kant Perpetual Peace .

The difficult solution of global problems , has led to the traditional political parties , organizations and specialists in the field to establish conjectures and hypotheses that allow the resolution to these problems . And for that have been established as a fundamental premise solving global and local issues through transnational actors . As stated by Ulrich Beck in policy beyond the nation-state :

” … Cosmopolitan parties representing transnational issues transnationally , but within the political arenas of nation states . However , they can only exist , both programmatically and organizationally , in a pluralistic way, as national and global movements such as games for global citizens … ” (Beck , 1998a ) .

In another vein , there is a new trend by providing that ” cosmopolitan ” political parties would be the first players to copy the strategies of corporations and break the trap territorial nation-states .

According to Beck , “The world does not require global officials and bureaucrats. But there are other ways to organize globally , and teach us how corporations ” (Beck , 1998b ) . Ie organizing hierarchies in flexible networks .

Therefore, coordination between the state and the parties must be horizontally, learning to build a network of comprehensive mediation between nations , joined together , but decentralized .

With the new world (dis) order, caused by privatization, deregulation and lowering of telecommunications, natural resources , industries and financial apparatus, has caused a global competition mode .

The first wave of national deregulation requires a second wave of transnational regulation ” globalization creating a new source of conflict , not only in politics and economics, but also in the daily life of people .

Beck asks a central question : how can give regulating disputes politically organized ?

1. Cosmopolitanism dressing : transnational politics as a way to pursue national interests.

Two . International regimes : strong regulatory authorities to act independently of the national democratic governments.

Three . Nationally anchored cosmopolitan parties, which would trigger a national public , and very distinct in its transnational arguments ( Beck, 1998c ) .

Therefore, if we do not experience new forms of democracy beyond the nation-state , it is likely that we are in a post- political era high technocracy , as indeed has been developing in recent decades .

Global political parties can be important and influential , even if they are able to initially mobilize small contingent of men and women , causing a new pressure, the need to address transnational issues of democratic , plural and inclusive .

Beck considers this trial as a difficult task, because the new global parties have to deal with cultural traditions and democratic taboos , especially with regard to emerging countries.

” The cosmopolitan parties not only have to deal with these disagreements ( … ) but would also have to climb the guard to resist possible movements of re ( … ) have to fight for the autonomy of a cosmopolitan ethics and politics in their respective contexts national culture ” (Beck, 1998d ) .

Thus would arise a new typology of parties through the following characterizations :

1. Their values and goals would be set in reference to humanist traditions common to all cultures and religions , in contrast to the national parties that refer only to national traditions and solidarities.

Two . Bring global issues clearly in the center of his political imagination , and their programs always drive reforms in national political systems so that they can take these matters.

Three . Organized as multinational parties, cosmopolitan French-born , American , Polish , German, Japanese , Chinese or South African movements, interconnected in many niches of the global society . (Beck, 1998e ) .

But where may be the voters who cosmopolitan parties can represent ? , Personally , I believe that these new citizens can be targeted in the big cities , in global cities , where a post- national understanding of the policy exists, social responsibility , democratic progress , justice , art , science and the public exchange , there may emerge new global political parties.

To what extent will happen in the future is , however , an empirical question and politically contingent. Connect to internet by itself does not generate global citizens , as is often thought .

In the cosmopolitan parties , secure national citizens abound still color, composed of many traits and nuances. However, not to be confused with the technocratic business class, it is necessary to distinguish between global capitalist and global citizens. The development of the global citizen, paradoxically accompanied by wind of global capitalism. As the capitalist to seek their own interest , and learned how to think and act in transnational contexts , while citizens still think and act in relation to the category of the nation state .

However, the legitimacy of national political parties have lost over time, credibility in their actions , making them true oligarchies , where the main interest is the electoral and economic recaudamiento by patronage and popular route. This phenomenon is at least in Mexico , and still in some countries of Latin America and Caribbean region .

In addition , many of the existing political parties in the world have failed to adapt to the fast, fluid and weak political structures of the new life that brought about the globalization process , so what the unsuitability of this new world order , has meant that political parties have lost quite democratic impact in their countries of origin, and with it , stop in between that the consolidation and democratic exercise , with other actors, the main driving forces of democracy in their countries and in their regions . Such is the case of Egypt , Chile, Spain and Mexico , to name a few .

Official circles and civil society in general have achieved much progress in recognizing and adapting their activities to change a model statesman polycentric governance that has accompanied contemporary globalization. In contrast , political parties have generally maintained a nationalist statesman – territorialist modus operandi and this exercise slowly being outdated for the requirements demanded by the national and global population.

Parties may recover considerable stature as if democratic forces ( albeit belatedly ) adapt several practices in tune with the emerging polycentric governance of a globalized world.

Under this premise, if the parties pay more attention to global issues , global rules and global institutions , could significantly contribute to its revival as democratic actors . In turn , political parties with a global orientation could promote democratization of globalization that is much needed . For as Anthony Giddens , the problem of globalization say is the lack of more globalization. Not only in the field of economy and information services , but in the cultural, social , civilizing and democratic sphere.

In contrast new arguments could emerge where the general paralysis of the political parties and the general underdevelopment of global democracy that exists today would be questioned. That party systems have a new impetus is not the panacea to be more popular participation and accountability in global politics , but it could involve major improvements.

 In sum , the power of global political parties should not only lie in obtaining the votes , but rather on the legitimacy of his voice, his act of party projection even when talking about a weak or persecuted minority .

It has established very few reflections on the role of political parties in the era of globalization , and is very little information about the conformation of the world’s political parties, and although it seems that it is an indigenous case of the European Union, the academia and generators of ideas should not ignore these new forms of stratification of the new international post- policy.

Therefore, the formation of these new political parties may seem fanciful , controversy, and even sometimes a simple disbelief extreme experiment of the New Global Politics, but must find a practical answer , because in the context of globalization seems that the cosmopolitanism party is here to stay .


Patomäki , Heikki and Teivo Teivamen ( eds ) (2007 ), Global Political Parties , New York : Zed Books.

Posadas , Ruslan ( 2010) , ” Politics and Power in Transnational era”, In: Power , Decision Making in Democratic Model , Mexico , UNAM .

Poviña , Carlos. (1944 ) , The legal system of political parties , Buenos Aires , Depalma .

Scholte , Jan Aart ( 2006) , Political Parties and Global Democracy , London , Centre for the Study of Globalization and Regionalisation .

Uvila , Katarina and Patomäki Marko ( eds ) (2006 . ) Elements for a comprehensive dialogue of Political Parties , New York, Institute for Global Democratization .


Beck, Ulrich (1998 ) , “Global Democracy. Beyond the Nation State “, Journal Metapolítica , no. 5, pp . 7-12.


Harvey , David. ( January 5, 2007 ) . Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction , available at: . Http://es.scribd.com/doc/8913408/David-Harvey-El-neoliberalismo-como-destruccioncreativa , Retrieved May 15, 2011 .





1- Bachelor in Political Science and Urban Management at the Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM). Candidate for Master in Political and Social Studies from the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of UNAM. Professor of the Center for Studies course in Public Administration from the UNAM and director of the Digital Magazine Topia.



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