Is the “new” always “new”? Theoretical framework problems of new political parties’ research: The Czech Republic experience

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Abstract

New political parties can be essential holders of party systems’ change. A lot of scholars underline this reality. In fact, it is often not enough only to establish a new political subject. There is a significant relationship between a new party emergence and the subsequent electoral success, which is often an overlooked research dimension. This article intends to focus on the most important features narrowly connected with new political parties’ study approaches. There is no concurrence on what a new political party exactly is. It is possible to find a whole range of high-quality based articles exploring newness in a current or recent state of knowledge. Despite it, this research still has several substantial doubts about this question. Examples of Czech political parties that have been successful in the first-order elections (FOE) and where the problematic aspects of their declared novelty can be traced will be compared here. The evidence of complexity pertaining to this phenomenon is obvious: every political party is new in the moment of its formation in reality, but on the other hand not every political party is new regarding an appropriate theoretical concept. This empirical base shows that declared novelty can be rather more a tool of broader communication and image strategy than a real indisputable party attribute.

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