Factions and the Study of American Political Parties

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

Factions and the Study of American Political Parties

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This chapter situates the study of factions in the vast political science literature on political parties in the United States. It makes five moves. First, the principal debates that have animated students of parties for the last century are discussed. Second, the conception of factions advanced in this book is contrasted with the leading theoretical statements on American parties. Third, the chapter argues that the parties, driven by factions within them, are and have been stronger and more vibrant than they are often depicted. Fourth, how the faction-driven party claim is “tested” against other views of political parties in the chapters that follow. Fifth, the chapter details how factions contribute to our understanding of American Political Development. By building on the insights of previous scholarship, this study challenges, sharpens, and refines them at key points.

Keywords: American Political Development; realignment; party decline; coalitions; interest groups

Chapter.  4317 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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