The ideology of the PPSh was Anti-Revisionist Marxism-Leninism. The party organization was built up following democratic centralist principles, with Enver Hoxha as its First Secretary. Article 3 of Albania's 1976 Constitution identified the Party as the "leading political force of the state and of the society."
The highest organ of the Party, according to the Party statutes, was the Party Congress, which met for a few days every five years. Delegates to the Congress were elected at conferences held at the regional, district, and city levels. The Congress examined and approved reports submitted by the Central Committee, discussed general Party policies, and elected the Central Committee. The latter was the next-highest level in the Party hierarchy and generally included all key officials in the government, as well as prominent members of the intelligentsia. The Central Committee directed Party activities between Party Congresses and met approximately three times a year.
As in the Soviet Union, the Central Committee elected a Politburo and a Secretariat. The Politburo, which usually included key government ministers and Central Committee secretaries, was the main administrative and policy-making body and convened on a weekly basis. Generally, the Central Committee approved Politburo reports and policy decisions. The Secretariat was responsible for guiding the day-to-day affairs of the Party, in particular for organizing the execution of Politburo decisions and for selecting Party and government cadres.
In 1991, the PPSh reformed and became the social-democratic Socialist Party of Albania, one of the two major political parties in Albania.
The staunchly orthodox stand of the PPSh attracted many political groupings around the world, particularly among Maoists who were not content with the CPC attitude in the late 1970s. A large number of parties (the most notable being the PC do B) declared themselves to be in the "PPSh line", especially during the period 1978-1980. However, many of them abandoned this certain affiliation after the fall of the communist regime in Albania. Today, many of the political parties upholding the political line of the PPSh are grouped around the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations.
Below is a partial list of parties adhering to the political line of the PPSh during its existence: