Constitutional regulation of the activities of political parties from the perspective of the global trends of constitutional and legal development

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Author: Fedor Dolgikh

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2019-4-102-115

Keywords: constitution; constitutional regulation; constitutionalization; fundamentals of legal status; global trends of constitutional and legal development; political parties; the party system


The expansion of the subject of constitutional regulation led to the inclusion in the constitutions of foreign countries of norms that establish the basis of the legal status of political parties, which began to occur after the First World War, and has become a global trend since the middle of the 20th century. The current significant difference in the volume of regulation of these institutions in the constitutions has led to an analysis of its causes. The methodological basis for this study is the position put forward by S.A.Avakian on the conditionality of the content of the Constitution by a number of features. With regard to the regulation of the legal status of political parties, the most important features are the time of adoption of the Constitution, the presence or absence of an anti-democratic regime in the past, the conditions for the adoption of the Constitution, the balance of political forces at the time of its adoption, and the goals pursued by the drafters of the Constitution. The source base is the existing written constitutions of States with different political regimes and the level of development of democracy. The degree of regulation of political parties in the constitutions is analyzed using the method of frequency content analysis. The results of the study indicate the absence of significant correlation between the degree of regulation of the legal status of political parties in the constitutions of foreign countries and the nature of the existing political and party systems, and allow one to subdivide constitutionalization of political parties in the formal, which is expressed in the inclusion of rules governing the basis of the legal status of political parties in the texts of constitutions, and the actual, which consists primarily of the possibility of practical implementation laid down in the Constitution of the right to join a party. The lack of formal constitutionalization is compensated by the norms of organic laws, current legislation, the judicial practice of national courts, and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. Considering the trends of constitutional and legal development, it is possible to predict an increase in the number of norms that determine the basis of the legal status of political parties in the texts of the constitutions that will be adopted in the future. First of all, this will be reflected in the constitutions of States where there are no longer democratic traditions. This circumstance will lead to a gradual smoothing of the differences between the formal and actual constitutionalization of political parties in these countries.

About the author: Fyodor Dolgikh – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in History, Chair of Theory and History of State and Law, Moscow University for Industry and Finance “Synergy”, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Dolgikh F. (2019) Konstitutsionnaya reglamentatsiya deyatel'nosti politi­cheskikh partiy v svete global'nykh tendentsiy konstitutsionno-pravovogo razvitiya [Constitutional regulation of the activities of political parties in the light of the global trends of constitutional and legal development]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol.28, no.4, pp.102–115. (In Russian).


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