The project focuses on the relationship between political parties and the judiciary in European democracies. This relationship appears to have grown stronger in recent decades, although the particular nature of this relationship as well as its intensity has hitherto remained largely unexplored.
The particular emphasis of this project is on what may be considered two interrelated aspects of the relationship between political parties and the judiciary: it aims to examine the so-called judicialization of party politics, on the one hand, exploring the extent to which the courts appear to operate as political actors in the field of party politics, and the politicization of the judiciary, on the other, examining the degree to which the recruitment of members of the judiciary can be seen to be partisan and bear the marks of party patronage.
The project builds on two recent multi-disciplinary research projects carried out at Leiden University, on the regulation of political parties and on party patronage respectively. It aims to synthesize, develop and expand the insights and findings that have emanated from these projects, thus further advancing our understanding of the place, role and function of political parties in modern representative democracies. The project will depart from a focus on selected cases studies, including The Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic.