The Dynamics of Divergence: Ideology, Factionalism, and Representation

Ian Budge, Hans Keman, Michael McDonald and Paul Pennings

in Organizing Democratic Choice

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654932
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741685 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

The Dynamics of Divergence: Ideology, Factionalism, and Representation

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This chapter approaches party position-taking from a new angle, viewing it as an internal factional process rather than as strategic decisions by a unitary agent. It assumes that parties are ideologically based and pursue their own policies: that they are internally factionalized: and operating under high levels of uncertainty. Using these assumptions, the integrated theory requires two basic pieces of information to predict parties’ policy moves: past policy shift and past vote share. When a party loses votes, it will reverse its leftward or rightward move. When a party gains votes, it will continue in the same direction. However, a party will not make two consecutive moves in the same direction, even after a vote gain, owing to factional constraints. These are the core predictions of the integrated dynamic theory we presented below, which are formalized as a successful computer simulation. This has important consequences for political representation considered at the end of the chapter.

Keywords: party divergence; party policy movement; factionalism; ideology; simulations; representational performance

Chapter.  8437 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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