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Affecting two parties (‘bipartite agreement’) or divided into two parts. The term is mostly employed in reference to formal economic and political negotiations and arrangements. For example, a number of social scientists have pointed to bipartisanship as a factor explaining the lack of success of third parties (such as the Socialist and People's Parties) in the United States, citing the difficulties of mounting a new political party within an established two-party system. In this case, the more conservative parties found it relatively easy to incorporate, as their own, parts of the platforms of the more reform oriented third parties, thus undermining their appeal to the electorate. (See, for example, W. Sombart's Why is there No Socialism in the United States?, 1906.)

Subjects: Sociology.

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