Informations and abstract
The article is a critical review of the literature on the classical party typologies and it proposes an indepth analysis of the most recent ones. After an examination of the cartel party, it deals with the electoral-professional party, the new framework party and the party of professional politicians (all subtypes of the so called postmodern party). The analysis of these different types of parties considers three crucial dimensions (organizational, electoral and institutional) and it takes into consideration also the functional complexity of the political parties. The article deals also on party dualism. Every political party is seen as swinging between the logic of identity, what it is, and the logic of competition, what it does. Different party types emphasize one over the other. Finally the article raises some theoretical and methodological questions. On the one hand, it stresses the relationship between party change and the theory of democracy. On the other hand, it calls for a more detailed empirical investigation of postmodern parties, in order to discriminate more accutately the impact of different historical periods, countries, party systems and parties.