Return to: Search Page or to: Table of Contents Vol. 18, Issue 5

Tània Verge and Raúl Gómez, "Factionalism in multi-level contexts: When party organization becomes a device," Party Politics, 18 (September 2012), 667-685. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
Factionalism has been poorly developed in the study of political parties and it is still orphan of conceptual approaches and hypotheses. This is so despite most parties passing through periods of unity and dissent depending on particular external or internal circumstances, such as electoral performance or changes in leadership (Hine, 1982: 48). Indeed, factionalism is ubiquitous in political parties (Harmel et al., 1995: 7). The study of factionalism is thus not confined to the understanding of party politics but to the comprehension of politics at large (Belloni and Beller, 1976: 549).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Likely opposition factions' strategies
Table 2. Opposition factions' strategies in Spain

Last Paragraph:
(first paragraph of conclusions) Far from being unitary actors, parties consist of competing groups. This article has addressed the endogeneity problem that research on factionalism faces by analysing it as a dynamic process. This implies studying factionalism as both dependent and independent variable, while keeping constant external factors, which requires examining the interaction of dominant and opposition factions' strategic choices. According to the theoretical framework we have displayed, knowing about a particular party organizational model allows us to predict what shape factionalism might adopt in a party, regardless of it being more office- or policy-oriented.

Last updated August 2012