Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors


Political Science

First Advisor

Anthony Gierzynski


politics, parties, interview, democracy, grassroots, volunteer


In response to popular criticism that the major parties are more oligarchic organizations than democratic ones, this thesis builds upon previous research to offer a more current and nuanced understanding of the grassroots activities of state political parties in the northeastern U.S. Through interviews with state party executive and campaign directors, the civic capacity of political parties to promote participatory democratic action will be assessed. I will determine whether the major state parties are successfully engaging new voters/members, including existing members in electoral activities, recruiting candidates, and whether the methods employed could be described as grassroots.