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John W. Burns, "Party Policy Change: The Case of the Democrats and Taxes, 1956-68," Party Politics, 3 (October 1997), 513-532.

First Paragraph:
By adopting and enacting Keynesian initiatives, the Democratic Party changed its tax policy dramatically between the mid-1950s and the late 1960s. The shift transformed the making of US fiscal policy, placing a Keynesian philosophy at the forefront of the national tax agenda. The particu-lar example of the Democrats at this time raises general concerns about why any party alters its policy positions, thus addressing an aspect of the ques-tion: why do parties change? Among other functions, parties nominate candidates for office, produce and present policy positions to the public, and seek to enact policies once party members are elected to office. Consequently, discovering why parties change is important for both judging the health and understanding the workings of a democracy such as the USA. Recent studies of party change in this and other nations offer theoretical innovations for assessing party transformations (Harmel and janda, 1994), as well as empirical analysis of changes in party organizations (Klinkner, 1994), manifestos and platforms (Janda et al., 1995), and politics (Brady, 1988). Apart from racial issues (Carmines and Stimson, 1989), however, few empirical accounts of the sources of party policy evolution on particular issues in the USA exist.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Democratic tax policy change, 1958-69
Figure 1: Changes in CPI, 1956-68
Figure 2: Growth in RDI per capita, 1956-68
Figure 3: Percentage of the public stating that the level of federal income taxes that they pay are 'too high,' 1956-67

Last Paragraph:
Future research should explore the extent to which the external and internal models explain policy change effectively in other eras, such as with the rise of supply-side tax policies in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as whether a partisan division exists, with Democrats behaving differently from Republicans. Further, an exploration of the sources of party policy evolution on other issues, such as the environment or trade, would illuminate the extent to which, if at all, policies evolve differently across divergent issue areas, and what implications this holds for democracy in the USA.