Four Questions About American Party Factions

Daniel DiSalvo

in Engines of Change

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199891702
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949410 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Postwar American Political Development

Four Questions About American Party Factions

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To properly take the measure of factions in American politics, this chapter addresses four questions: What is a faction? What do factions do? Who are the factions in America? What are the causes of factions? It rigorously defines factions to allow for comparison and generalization. It then explains how factions try to move their party along the Left-Right political spectrum—toward or away from the political center. It then identifies the factions that have existed in American party politics from the Civil War to the present. Finally, the chapter explores five overlapping causes of factionalism in America’s two-party system.

Keywords: factions; parties; electoral system; Downs; liberalism; conservatism

Chapter.  8148 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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