Institutions and Enfranchisement

in The Two Reconstructions

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780226845289
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226845272 | DOI:
Institutions and Enfranchisement

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Why did party- and jurisprudence-building come more easily for the coalition partners of the second reconstruction than they did for their first-reconstruction predecessors? The answer developed in this chapter is that there were better institutional supports for these two processes than during the first reconstruction. The chapter claims that institutional differences between the two reconstructions differentially magnified probabilities for coalitional success. During both reconstructions, the same political framework of parties and courts empowered the biracial coalitions—but to very different degrees. In the first case, coalitional hopes eventually proved fruitless because the coalition did not have a good enough rendition of the “parties and courts” setup. In the second case the coalition had a better party system structure and a better initial jurisprudential test. In making this claim, the chapter offers a distinctive view of what institutions do in politics. One viewpoint stresses the way institutions force political actors to adopt perspectives on their strategic and political situations that differ from those they would hold in the absence of these institutions.

Keywords: institutions; jurisprudence-building; coalition partners; enfranchisement; reconstruction; biracial coalitions

Chapter.  10901 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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