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

Open access


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.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Act No. 424/1991 Coll. on association in political parties and political movements.

  • Arter David (2016): When New Party X Has the „X Factor”: On Resilient Entrepreneurial Parties. Party Politics 22(1): 15–26.

  • Bakke Elisabeth – Sitter Nick (2015): Where do parties go when they die? The fate of failed parties in the Czech Republic Slovakia and Hungary 1992–2013 East European Politics 31(1): 1–22.

  • Balík Stanislav – Hloušek Vít (2016): The Development and Transformation of the Czech Party System After 1989. Acta Politologica 8(2): 103–117.

  • Barnea Shlomit – Rahat Gideon (2011): Out with the Old In with the „New”: What Constitutes a New Party? Party Politics 17(3): 303–320.

  • Bartolini Stefano – Mair Peter (2007): Identity competition and electoral availability: the stabilisation of European electorates 1885–1985 ECPR Press.

  • Berrington Hugh (1985): New Parties in Britain: Why Some Live and Most Die. International Political Science Review 6(4): 441–461.

  • Beyens Stephanie – Deschouwer Kris – Lucardie Paul (2016): The Life and Death of New Political Parties in the Low Countries. West European Politics 39(2): 257–277.

  • Biezen Ingrid van – Rashkova Ekaterina R. (2014): Deterring New Party Entry? The Impact of State Regulation on the Permeability of Party Systems. Party Politics 20(6): 890–903.

  • Birch Sarah (2003): Electoral systems and political transformation in post-communist Europe Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Bolin Niklas (2014): New party parliamentary entry in Western Europe 1960–2010. European Journal of Government and Economics 3(1): 5–23.

  • Bolleyer Nicole (2012): New Party Organization in Western Europe: Of Party Hierarchies Stratarchies and Federations. Party Politics 18(3): 315–336.

  • Bolleyer Nicole (2013): New parties in old party systems: persistence and decline in seventeen democracies Oxford University Press.

  • Bolleyer Nicole – Bytzek Evelyn (2017): New party performance after breakthrough: Party origin building and leadership. Party Politics 23(6): 772–782.

  • Brunclík Miloš – Kubát Michal (2016): The Czech Parliamentary Regime after 1989: Origins Developments and Challenges. Acta Politologica 8(2): 5–29.

  • Brunnerová Olga (2018): Institutionalisation of Newcomer Parties in Theory and Practice: the Case Study of ANO 2011. Revista de Stiinte Politice/Revue des Sciences Politiques 60: 27–41.

  • Buštíková Lenka – Guasti Petra (2018): The State as a Firm: Understanding the Autocratic Roots of Technocratic Populism. East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures OnlineFirst 1–29.

  • Bureš Jan – Charvát Jakub – Just Petr – Štefek Martin (2012): Česká demokracie po roce 1989: institucionální základy českého politického systému Grada.

  • Bürklin Wilhelm P. (1985): The German Greens: The Post-Industrial Non-Established and the Party System. International Political Science Review 6(4): 463–481.

  • Cabada Ladislav (2017): Democracy in East-Central Europe: Consolidated Semi-consolidated Hybrid Illiberal or Other? Politics in Central Europe 12(2–3): 75–87.

  • Cirhan Tomáš – Kopecký Petr (2017): Career Backgrounds Professional Network and Party Cohesion: The Success of ANO in the Czech Republic. Politologický časopis/Czech Journal of Political Science 24(2): 116–136.

  • Cirhan Tomáš – Stauber Jakub (2018): Online supporter and registered sympathiser as alternatives to a regular party member. East European Politics 34(4): 458–482.

  • CZSO (2002 2006 2010 2013 and 2007): – Český statistický úřad | ČSÚ [online]. Available from: <> (15 May 2019).

  • Deegan-Krause Kevin (2006): Elected affinities: democracy and party competition in Slovakia and the Czech Republic Stanford University Press.

  • Deegan-Krause Kevin – Haughton Tim (2015): Hurricane Season. Systems of Instability in Central and East European Party Politics. East European Politics & Societies 29(1): 61–80.

  • Engler Sarah (2016): Corruption and Electoral Support for New Political Parties in Central and Eastern Europe. West European Politics 39(2): 278–304.

  • Emanuele Vincenzo (2018): Cleavages institutions and competition: understanding vote nationalisation in Western Europe (1965–2015) Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Emanuele Vincenzo – Chiaramonte Alessandro (2018): A growing impact of new parties: Myth or reality? Party system innovation in Western Europe after 1945. Party Politics 24(5): 475–487.

  • Enroth Henrik – Hagevi Magnus eds. (2018): Cartelisation convergence or increasing similarities? Lessons from parties in Parliament Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Fiala Petr – Strmiska Maxmilián (2001): Kontinuita a diskontinuita českých stranicko-politických systémů. Metodologická východiska a dilemata komparativního výzkumu transformace soustav politických stran v Českých zemích. Středoevropské politické studie/Central European Political Studies Review 3(1).

  • Garzia Diego – Marschall Stefan eds. (2014): Matching voters with parties and candidates: voting advice applications in a comparative perspective ECPR Press.

  • Hanley Seán (2008): The new right in the new Europe: Czech transformation and right-wing politics 19892006 Routledge.

  • Hanley Seán (2011): Dynamika utváření nových stran v České republice v letech 1996–2010: hledání možných příčin politického zemětřesení. Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review 47(1): 115–136.

  • Hanley Seán (2012): Dynamics of new party formation in the Czech Republic 1996–2010: looking for the origins of a ‘political earthquake’. East European Politics 28(2): 119–143.

  • Hanley Seán – Sikk Allan (2016): Economy corruption or floating voters? Explaining the breakthroughs of anti-establishment reform parties in Eastern Europe. Party Politics 22(4): 522–533.

  • Harmel Robert (1985): On the Study of New Parties. International Political Science Review 6(4): 403–418.

  • Harmel Robert – Robertson John D. (1985): Formation and Success of New Parties: A Cross-National Analysis. International Political Science Review 6(4): 501–523.

  • Harmel Robert – Svåsand Lars (1997): The Influence of New Parties on Old Parties’ Platforms: The Cases of the Progress Parties and Conservative Parties of Denmark and Norway. Party Politics 3(3): 315–340.

  • Hartleb Florian (2013): Anti-elitist cyber parties? Journal of Public Affairs 13(4): 355–369.

  • Havlík Vlastimil et al. (2014): Volby do Poslanecké sněmovny 2013 Masarykova univerzita Fakulta sociálních studií Mezinárodní politologický ústav.

  • Havlík Vlastimil (2019): Technocratic Populism and Political Illiberalism in Central Europe. Problems of Post-Communism. Published online: 1–16.

  • Havlík Vlastimil – Hloušek Vít (2014): Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: The Story of the Populist Public Affairs Party in the Czech Republic. Perspectives on European Politics and Society 15(4): 552–570.

  • Havlík Vlastimil – Voda Petr (2016): The Rise of New Political Parties and Re-Alignment of Party Politics in the Czech Republic. Acta Politologica 8(2): 119–144.

  • Havlík Vlastimil – Voda Petr (2018): Cleavages Protest or Voting for Hope? The Rise of Centrist Populist Parties in the Czech Republic. Swiss Political Science Review 24(2): 161–186.

  • Hájek Lukáš (2017): Left Right Left Right… Centre: Ideological Position of Andrej Babiš’s ANO. Politologický časopis/Czech Journal of Political Science 24(3): 275–301.

  • Hino Airo (2012): New Challenger Parties in Western Europe. Routledge.

  • Hloušek Vít – Kopeček Lubomír (2017): Different Ways of Institutionalising Entrepreneurial Parties: Czech Public Affairs Party and ANO. Politologický časopis/Czech Journal of Political Science 24(2): 92–115.

  • (2017): Přehledně: Kdo komu bral a kam utekly hlasy. Nejvíc „loupili” ANO a Piráti [online].23. 10. 2017. Available from:<>(15May2019).

  • Hug Simon (1996): The emergence of new political parties from a game theoretic perspective. European Journal of Political Research 29(2): 169–190.

  • Hug Simon (2000): Studying the Electoral Success of New Political Parties. A Methodological Note. Party Politics 6(2): 187–197.

  • Hug Simon (2001): Altering Party Systems: Strategic Behavior and the Emergence of New Political Parties in Western Democracies. University of Michigan Press.

  • Hynčica Pavel – Šárovec Daniel (2018): Slovenské politické strany optikou konceptu novosti. Acta Fakulty filozofické Západočeské univerzity v Plzni 10(2–3): 7–34.

  • Charvát Jakub (2014): The Czech Party System Change since 2010: From Fragile Stability to Stable Fragility. Revista de Stiinte Politice/Revue des Sciences politiques 41: 141–154.

  • Charvát Jakub – Just Petr (2016): Krize politického stranictví a noví straničtí aktéři v české politice. Metropolitan University Prague Press.

  • Jääsari Johanna – Hildén Jockum (2015): From File Sharing to Free Culture: The Evolving Agenda of European Pirate Parties. International Journal of Communication 9 870–889.

  • Just Petr – Charvát Jakub (2016): Business-Firm Parties and the Czech Party System after 2010. Politics in Central Europe 12(3): 83–110.

  • Karvonen Lauri (2010): The personalisation of politics: a study of parliamentary democracies ECPR Press.

  • Kemp David (1975): Social Change and the Future of Political Parties in Maisel Louis S. – Sacks Paul M. eds. The Future of Political Parties. 124–164 Sage.

  • Kim Mi-son – Solt Frederick (2017): The dynamics of party relabeling: Why do parties change names? Party Politics 23(4): 437–447.

  • (2013): Jak se přesouvají voliči mezi volbami (ekologická inference) [online]. 4. 1. 2014.Available from:<> (15 May 2019).

  • Kosowska-Gąstoł Beata (2017): Are the Europarties Real Political Parties? National Parties’ Involvement in Multi-level Structures of European Political Parties. Historia i Polityka 20(27): 9–29.

  • Kosowska-Gąstoł Beata – Sobolewska-Myślik Katarzyna (2017): New Political Entrepreneurs in Poland. Politologický časopis/Czech Journal of Political Science 24(2): 137–157.

  • Kosowska-Gąstoł Beata – Sobolewska-Myślik Katarzyna (2019): Does Novelty Necessarily Mean Change? New Political Parties within the Polish Party System. Politics in Central Europe 15(1) Doi: 10.2478/pce-2019-0004.

  • Kopeček Lubomír (2016): „I’m Paying So I Decide”: Czech ANO as an Extreme Form of a Business-Firm Party. East European Politics and Societies and Cultures 30(4): 725–749.

  • Kopeček Lubomír – Svačinová Petra (2017): Between organizational extremes: Czech parties after a political earthquake in: Sobolewska-Myślik Katarzyna – Kosowska-Gąstoł Beata – Borowiec Piotr eds. (2017): Organizational Structures of Political Parties in Central and Eastern European Countries Jagiellonian University Press.

  • Kopeček Lubomír – Hloušek Vít – Chytilek Roman – Svačinová Petra (2018): Já platím já rozhoduji! Političtí podnikatelé a jejich strany B & P Publishing.

  • Krašovec Alenka (2017): A Hint at Entrepreneurial Parties? The Case of Four New Successful Parties in Slovenia. Politologický časopis/Czech Journal of Political Science 24(2): 158–178.

  • (2018): Text dohody politického hnutí ANO 2011 a KSČM o podpoře vzniku a toleranci existence menšinové vlády hnutí ANO a ČSSD po volbách 2017 [online]. 16. 7. 2018. Available from:< >(15May 2019).

  • Kunc Jiří (2000): Stranické systémy v re/konstrukci SLON.

  • Lachapelle Guy – Maarek Philippe J. eds. (2015): Political parties in the digital age: the impact of new technologies in politics De Gruyter Oldenbourg.

  • (2012): LIDEM zveřejnilo programové priority. Chtějí slušnost [online]. 8. 6. 2012. Available from: <> (15 May 2019).

  • Linek Lukáš – Lyons Pat (2013): Dočasná stabilita? Volební podpora politických stran v České republice 19902010 SLON.

  • Litton Krystyna (2015): Party Novelty: Conceptualization and Measurement of Party Change. Party Politics 21(5): 712–725.

  • Lucardie Paul (2000): Prophets Purifiers and Prolocutors. Towards a Theory on the Emergence of New Parties. Party Politics 6(2): 175–185.

  • Luther Kurt R. – Müller-Rommel Ferdinand eds. (2009): Political parties in the new Europe: political and analytical challenges ECPR/Oxford University Press.

  • Marmola Maciej (2017): Nowe partie polityczne w Polsce Czechach i na Słowacji z perspektywy geografii wyborczej. Political Preferences 17: 57–72.

  • Mazzoleni Oscar – Voerman Gerrit (2017): Memberless parties: Beyond the business-firm party model? Party Politics 23(6): 783–792.

  • Mesežnikov Grigorij – Gyárfášová Oľga – Bútorová Zora eds. (2013): Alternative politics?: the rise of new political parties in Central Europe Institute for Public Affairs.

  • Morlino Leonardo – Berg-Schlosser Dirk – Badie Bertrand (2017): Political science: a global perspective SAGE Publications.

  • (2019): Rejstřík politických stran a politických hnutí [online]. Available from: <> (15 May 2019).

  • Naxera Vladimír (2018): The Never-ending Story: Czech Governments Corruption and Populist Anti-Corruption Rhetoric (2010–2018). Politics in Central Europe 14(3): 31–54.

  • Novotný Lukáš – Šárovec Daniel (2018a): Na vítězné vlně: Analýza úspěchu Alternativy pro Německo ve volbách do Spolkového sněmu 2017. Politické vedy/Political Sciences 21(1): 97–118.

  • Novotný Lukáš – Šárovec Daniel (2018 b): Německý stranický systém a volby do Bundestagu 2017. Acta Politologica 10(3): 47–63.

  • Passarelli Gianluca – Tuorto Dario (2018): The Five Star Movement: Purely a Matter of Protest? The Rise of a New Party Between Political Discontent and Reasoned Voting. Party Politics 24(2): 129–140.

  • Perottino Michel (2016): The Disappearance of Politics or Depolitization the Czech Way. Sociální studia/Social Studies 13(1): 45–56.

  • Pospíšilová Jaroslava (2017): Teorie principála a agenta a její využití při popisu vztahu volič– zástupce. Středoevropské politické studie/Central European Political Studies Review 19(3–4): 215–242.

  • (2019): Poslanecký klub Starostové a nezávislí [online]. Available from: <> (15 May 2019).

  • Pšeja Pavel (2005): Stranický systém ČR. Politické strany a jejich vývoj 1989–1998 CDK.

  • Roberts Andrew (2018): Czech Billionaires as Politicians. Problems of Post-Communism Online-First 1–11.

  • Rochon Thomas R. (1985): Mobilizers and Challengers: Toward a Theory of New Party Success International Political Science Review 6(4): 419–439.

  • Selb Peter – Pituctin Sandrine (2010): Methodological Issues in the Study of New Parties’ Entry and Electoral Success. Party Politics 16(2): 147–170.

  • Sikk Allan (2005): How Unstable? Volatility and the Genuinely New Parties in Eastern Europe. European Journal of Political Research 44: 391–412.

  • Sikk Allan (2012): Newness as a Winning Formula for New Political Parties. Party Politics 18(4): 465–486.

  • Sobolewska-Myślik Katarzyna – Kosowska-Gąstoł Beata – Borowiec Piotr eds. (2017): Organizational Structures of Political Parties in Central and Eastern European Countries Jagiellonian University Press.

  • Spáč Peter (2013): New Political Parties in the Czech Republic: Anti-politics or Mainstream? in: Mesežnikov Grigorij – Gyárfášová Oľga – Bútorová Zora eds. (2013): Alternative politics?: the rise of new political parties in Central Europe Institute for Public Affairs.

  • Stauber Jakub (2017): Institutionalization of Nationalized Party System: The Czech Case. Acta Politologica 9(3): 46–65.

  • Svačinová Petra (2016): Slibem nezarmoutíš? Naplňování socioekonomických legislativních slibů českých vládních stran (2006–2015). Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review 52(5): 709–736.

  • Szczerbiak Aleks – Hanley Seán eds. (2006): Centre-right parties in post-communist East-Central Europe Routledge.

  • Šárovec Daniel (2016): Nové politické strany: novost teoretické koncepty a možnosti jejich využití v ČR. Politics in Central Europe 12(2S): 9–27.

  • Šárovec Daniel (2017): Krajské volby 2016 a nové politické strany v České republice. Central European Journal of Politics 3(2): 1–25.

  • Šárovec Daniel (2018): Nástup nových politických stran v ČR od roku 2013: hnutí ANO 2011 a Úsvit přímé demokracie pohledem konceptu novosti. Sociológia 50(1): 78–113.

  • Šárovec Daniel (2019a): Konceptuální a metodologické aspekty výzkumu nových politických stran – not a published text yet.

  • Šárovec Daniel (2019 b): Assured Newcomers on a Squally Sea? Czech Pirate Party before and after Elections 2017 – not a published text yet.

  • Tavits Margit (2006): Party System Change. Testing a Model of New Party Entry. Party Politics 12(1): 99–119.

  • Tavits Margit (2008): Party Systems in the Making: The Emergence and Success of New Parties in New Democracies. British Journal of Political Science 38(1): 113–133.

  • (2017): Spolupráce mezi TOP 09 a STAN byla úspěšná [online]. 19. 1. 2017. Available from: <> (15 May 2019).

  • (2016): Poslanec Fiedler odchází z Úsvitu do hnutí Řád národa [online]. 5. 5. 2016. Available from:<>(15May2019).

  • Voda Petr – Pink Michal (2015): Explanation of spatial differentiation of electoral results in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 48(4): 301–316.

  • Willey Joseph (1998): New Arrangements and the Success of New Parties in Old Democracies. Political Studies 46(3): 651–668.

  • Zaslove Andrej – Wolinetz Steven B. eds. (2017): Absorbing the blow: populist parties and their impact on parties and party systems Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Zulianello Mattia (2018): Mobilizing young voters? A cross-national analysis of contextual factors in pirate voting. European Politics and Society 19(3): 282–298.

  • Žúborová Viera (2015): Newcomers in Politics. The Success of New Political Parties in the Slovak and Czech Republic after 2010. Baltic Journal Law & Politics 8(2): 91–111.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.48

Scimago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.18
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.195

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 64 64 21
PDF Downloads 46 46 6