Political parties are organizations that is established by people who have same political programs for seizing political power. The way to seize political power is election. Party systems are very important to seize political power. Duverger, Hungtingtun, Lipset, Rokkan, Neumann and Sortori say party systems in a society is a key of political success. ¹

Number, size and importance of parties varies from country to country depending on social, economical, political and cultural factors. Usually, the classification of parties is based on number of parties in a country. According to the number of parties in a country, party systems are distinguished as one-party, two-party and multi-party. ²



A)Duverger’s typology (1951)

  1. Cadre Parties

It can be called as ‘Committee Party’. They do not exhibit special efforts to increase quantitiy of members. Because the important thing is quality, not quantity for them. The goal is to add people to party who have economic/politic power.

  1. Mass Parties

This type is associated with development of right to vote. Membership and quantitiy of member is important for financial status of mass parties. (membership fees; especially socialist parties ). Members of mass parties are trained continously in politics. The purpose of showing discplined and centralized approach is to train the elite that could manage the country. Socialist, communist and fascist parties can be examples of mass parties.

  1. Intermadiate Parties

There are two types of intermadiate parties; indirect parties and less developed country parties.

a. Indirect Parties;

This type is based on collective member and has cooperative structure. It has communities such as idea clubs or unions. Labour Party in UK is an example of indirect parties.

b. Less Developed Country Parties;
Especially they are seem in Africa. They show the original structure that reflects structure of country.

B)Neumann’s Typology

1) Parties of Individual Representation

Available in narrow and limited political environment. These parties’ activities is just on election time. Theirs main function is to nomite. Candidates have a wide freedom. These parties are weak and are flexible in terms of discipline and ideology and an active participation of the members are not expected.

2) Social Integration Parties

There are two types of social integration parties

a. Democratic Integration Parties
These parties’ supports are based on a particular social stratum. Members are under an organizational structure.  They liaise regular relation with their members. They are focused on the integration of mass. Catholic parties and socialist parties in Europe can be examples of democratic integration parties.

b. Fundamental Integration Parties
Ideology is an important element for these parties. They adopt a totalitarian worldview. The relation between party and its members is strict. Party has the authority to regulate and control over its members. Comunist and fascist parties can be example of fundamental integration parties.

C) New Classifications

1) Catch- All Party (Kircheimer)

As the name suggests, their aim is to reach a wide constituency as possible.Parties’ ideology tends are soft, pragmatic aspects are strong.  They tries to pull marginal voters to their side, temperately.

Center-right parties in Europe (Cristian Democratic Union), moderate left parties (Social democratic party of Germany) and some right parties can be example of catch-all parties.

Parties in Turkey are usually at this category. They are like cadre and mass parties but, exactly, they are not mass or cadre parties.

2) Electoral Professional Party

Ideology is not dominant. Professionals are dominant in the organization. Party financing is provided by spesific interest groups or/and state aids.

Example : Young Party in Turkey

3) Modern Cadre Parties

Number of members is too low. Party is dominated by professional leader groups. There is a heading to voters. A vertical organizational structure has been established to ensure intra-party discipline.




This system is not competitive.Second party is beside the point.Governments only have one party to govern.There are two types of party system that “real one-party system” and “complicated one-party system”.

a. Real one-party systems

Judicially and efficaciously there is only one party.It is forbidden to establish a party.Do not allow to race ,competition or coalition.We can divide it;”totalitarian” and “authoritarian” one party systems.

aa. Totalitarian One-Party

Inclusive ideology and a systematic world view is effective and government shape people from the point of view.Community life is completely brought under control by government.Government govern economic ,social and political events.Communist or Facist one-party regime would be an example.

ab. Authoritarian One-party System

This party regimes have no solid and inclusive ideologies.That one-party regimes goals are national integrity, economic developement and political modernisation.Control of party is not effective all of comminity.

b. Complicated One Party System

This regime has a lot of parties but only one party is outstanding.Types;Predominant party and Hegomonic Party.

ba. Predominant Party

This system has a lot of legal party and they are equal to each other.Only one party is stronger in point of vote and majority of the parliament;opposition rarely can win a selection and sometimes can effect political decision.

bb. Hegamonic Party System

There is no competition on equal terms.There is only one hegomonic party and the rest of parties have no chance to be elected.Marxist regimes,Poland .East Germany and People Republic of China can be example.



Power theough competition between the two major parties.Small parties don’t have enough power to effect politician.If a party win majority;government don’t need a coalition.If two major party can not win majority and one party not form a government and they need a support of another party.Two-party system pass to supported two-party system.(two and half party system)Examples are;The USA,England ,New Zelland and Australia.



There a lot of political party more then two political parties in political competition and this parties have the power to affect the balance of power.There two categories.

a. Moderate (Bipolar) Multi-Party Systems

Parties tend to cluster around two main centers. There is no dispute and ideological polarization on the basis of the regime. In Switzerland and Belgium ; Democratic parties and right parties

b. Multi- Polar Party Systems

There are many ideological differences in political poles. Reconciliation is a low level in regimes. The system is unstable. Typical examples are seen in Italy. The Christian Democratic Party coalition with smaller parties in Italy. The system is open to instability. It is difficult to develop a long-term policy. Regime can be a stalemated.



Various party systems are implemented in our country.

  • 1909-1913 multi-party system
  • 1913-1918 single party system
  • 1920-1923 multi-party system
  • 1923-1945 single party system
  • 1945-1950 multi-party system
  • 1950-1960 two-party system
  • 1960-1961 there is no political parties
  • 1961-1980 multi-party system
  • 1980-1983 there is no political parties
  • 1983-2014 multi-party system

As seen there are many party system applications in our country. During the period, political parties are allowed to race but sometimes this race has been suspended. This shows that there is no democratic institutionalization in our country. However, for political success, ensuring continuity in political life is a necessity.


1)            POWELL, G. Bingham Çağdaş Demokrasiler: Katılma, İstikrar, Şiddet Çev. Mehmet Turhan Ankara 1991, s 101.

2)            DUVERGER, Maurice, Siyasal Partiler Çev. Ergun Özbudun Bilgi Yayınevi Ankara 1974 s.276-277



  • 1)            KAPANİ, Münci, Politika Bilimine Giriş, Bilgi Yayınevi 7.Baskı Ankara 1995
  • 2)            ÖZBUDUN, Ergun, Türkiye’de Parti ve Seçim Sistemi, İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları İstanbul 2011
  • 3)            TEZİÇ, Erdoğan, Anayasa Hukuku, Beta Basın Yayım Ankara 2008
  • 4)            YANIK, Murat, Parti Sistemleri ve Türkiye Uygulamaları, İstanbul Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi


 Thanks, Ertugrul YESILKAYA and Fatih OZKARTAL for their help.


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