Parties are a key actor of modern political regimes, and can be defined on the basis of very different factors as ideology, organization, electoral mobilization, social representation, elite composition.
Our matrix focuses on the relationship between two analytical dimensions. The first concerns the origins of political parties, which can be located within the legislature, with parties being formed by groups of MPs, or outside Parliament, through the mobilization of societal cleavages. The second reflects parties' organization, on a continuum from a cohesive and hierarchical body to a loose network of individual actors.
The upper right quadrant presents the dominant party of modern democratic regimes, where elections for parliamentary representation determine the power structure within and among parties. Contrast this with parties in LLQ, where oligarchies control mass mobilization based on class (or ethnic, religious, center-periphery) cleavages. In ULQ mass parties face the challenge of incorporating their highly participatory constituencies into the legislative arena, by building large coalitions of conflicting interests. At the lower right, we find the recent evolution of Schumpeter-Downs' assumptions of economic democracy: parties marketing electoral and policy options through polling.