How to run an efficient political machine: the billionaire Andrej Babiš and his political-business project


This paper contributes to the debate on entrepreneurial parties with the empirical example of the Czech ANO party. The authors focus on selected aspects of the internal organisation and functioning of the party, emphasising the points where business methods and practices are transferred to the environment of party politics. The empirical part shows how the leader has built loyalty inside the party, and analyses its methods of control and coercion that are similar to the human resources recruitment techniques used in businesses. The authors investigate such matters as the vetting of candidates for public offices, the significant barriers created against those wishing to join the party and the party leadership’s strict control over membership. The article also describes the development of ANO’s electoral-professional services and the creation of mass media support. In conclusion, the authors discuss the broader future for the internal workings of entrepreneurial parties – including their lack of intra-party democracy – and their relationship with the changing landscape of contemporary party politics.

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