Does Policy Motivation Drive Party Activism? A Study of Party Activists in Three Asian Democracies

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Studies of party activism highlight that party activists are driven by various motivations and that these affect their level of activism. However, it remains unclear whether policy-motivated activists are more engaged in party activities than those motivated by other incentives and whether the motivation–activism link varies with party characteristics. This article investigates these questions by focusing on political actors linking parties and voters in the local community. I use a party activist survey data set collected during recent national election campaigns in three Asian young democracies: Taiwan, Korea, and Mongolia. The results demonstrated the prominence of policy motivation as an impetus for activists’ intraparty commitment. I also found that the positive effect of policy motivation is especially robust in small parties, while it is muted in large parties and that party membership increases the probability of intraparty commitment, challenging the widely held belief that formal membership is pointless in Asian parties.
Original languageEnglish
JournalParty Politics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2020



  • party activism
  • Asian Democracies
  • activist motivation
  • authoritarian successor party

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