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A Theory of Political Parties

Bawn K, Cohen M, Karol D, Noel H, Zaller J, Dominguez C, Enos R, Hill S, Hussey W, Lo J, James S, Lowenstein D, Mccubbins M, Schwartz T, Sinclair B ...see all
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Abstract

We propose a theory of political parties as coalitions of narrow interests in pursuit of policy demands. Nomination processes play a critical role as the point at which policy demanders exert maximum influence. In our theory, parties only strive to please voters when necessary to win elections. But this constraint is often minimal, however, due to voters' lack of information about politics. Our theory contrasts with currently dominant theories, in which modern parties are viewed as vehicles through which office-holders solve problems related to re-election.

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Authors

  • K. Bawn

  • M. Cohen

  • D. Karol

  • H. Noel

  • J. Zaller

  • Casey Dominguez

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