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Project: Into the «Secret Garden» of Portuguese Politics: Parliamentary Candidate Selection in Portugal, 1976-2015

Funding Source: FCT - PTDC/CPO-CPO/30296/2017

Participant Institutions: 
Universidade de Aveiro (UA), Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa (ICS/ULisboa), IPRI-NOVA

Timeframe: October 2018 - September 2021

Abstract: Parties are pivotal in representative democracy. This role derives to a large extent from their de facto monopoly on political representation. It is largely through parties that individual political actors can run for office, making their candidate selection central to the functioning of democracy and to political representation, in both substantive and descriptive terms. Candidate selection has been famously described as a 'secret garden' of politics. This project uncovers this 'secret garden' in Portugal, answering the following question: how do Portuguese parties select their candidates for office? It also deals with a second research question: what is the impact of selection processes on the nature of political representation? Finally, by analysing candidate selection over time, we assess how (and why) this has changed over time, interacting with the processes of democratic transition, consolidation and, more recently, with the debate on the quality of democracy.

Team Members:

Carlos Jalali
Patrícia Silva
Jorge M. Fernandes

Miguel Maria Pereira
Edalina Rodrigues Sanches
Marco Lisi
Edna Falorca Costa

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