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Helene Helboe Pedersen, "Policy-seeking parties in multiparty systems: Influence or purity?" Party Politics, 18 (May, 2012), 297-314. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol18/issue3/ ]

First paragraph:
In multiparty systems where no party has a majority, policy influence always comes at a cost in policy purity. A party has to moderate its own policy principles in order to join winning coalitions and influence public policy. In this article I investigate what determines the propensity of a party to give up some of its policy preferences in exchange for the power that follows from inter-party agreements. I show that the policy-seeking behaviour of political parties is affected by the organizational constraints a party puts on its representatives in parliament. Moreover, I find that the organizational impact is moderated by how much the party needs to compromise to win influence; that is: How serious the dilemma between purity and influence is.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Behavioural indicators of the pursuit of policy purity and policy influence
Table 2. Expert survey measures of policy purity
Table 3. Correlation matrix for behavioural indicators and expert estimates of policy objectives
Figure 1. Determinants of a party's propensity to seek policy purity and policy influence
Table 4. Organizational constraints and policy-seeking behaviour
Figure 2. Marginal effects of organizational constraints on purity-seeking behaviour as policy distance changes

Last Paragraph:
The relationship between intra-party relations and party behaviour is theoretically underdeveloped and empirically understudied. The study conducted in this article suggests that party organization and party objectives are systematically related and have political consequences, as they influence party strategies and party behaviour in the everyday parliamentary work of the parties

Last updated August 2012