East European Politics and Societies. 31(4), str. 840-862

Green Flash in the Croatian Pan: Green Party Survival in Post-socialist Europe

Dolenec, Danijela i Širinić, Daniela

This article explores the subject matter of new political parties’ survival by analysing the recent trajectory of the Green party ORaH in Croatia. ORaH emerged in October 2013; it won 9.4 percent of the vote at the 2014 European Parliament election and subsequently rose to 18.5 percent of public support in October 2014, only to collapse to 1.7 percent of the vote at the parliamentary election held in November 2015. In order to explain ORaH’s initial meteoric rise and its later equally rapid demise, we will employ studies on new and niche parties while we further elaborate our analysis of ORaH’s programme by profiling ORaH’s voter base. We also address a recurrent weakness in political party research by analysing the role of the European level of competition in increasing the chances of a new party’s survival by developing a framework that better integrates domestic and international dynamics of political party development. Our main finding is that despite its success in the 2014 European Parliament elections, and even though its electorate shares important features of the European Green voter, ORaH failed to secure parliamentary representation because of the inability of the party’s leadership to steer the party away from its initial contender status and define OraH’s policy niche.

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© Danijela Dolenec 2023
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