Candidate selection methods may be decentralized in two senses: territorial and social. When political parties select candidates using only a national party selectorate – inclusive or exclusive – without allowing for territorial and/or social representation, this is a centralized method. In a decentralized method, candidates are selected exclusively by local party selectorates – regardless of the level of inclusiveness – and/or intraparty social groups. Decentralization thus does not necessarily entail the shift from an exclusive to a more inclusive selectorate. Only if the decentralized selectorate is more inclusive than the earlier centralized selectorate does decentralization mean democratization. This chapter provides a new measurement for assessing the territorial decentralization of candidate selection, using the perspective of the candidates themselves. The chapter discusses the mechanisms used to ensure territorial and social representation – such as reserved positions or quotas – and concludes by examining the relationship between decentralization in the electoral system and decentralization within the political parties.
Keywords: candidate selection, political parties, territorial decentralization, social decentralization, decentralization and inclusiveness, measuring decentralization, quotas, reserved position, democratization, decentralization and electoral systems
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