Hans Noel, "Which long
coalition? The creation of the anti-slavery coalition,"
Party Politics, 19 (November 2013), 962-984.
[Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol19/issue6/
The leading view of why political parties form argues that
parties are a long coalition among political actors.
Legislators voting on a sequence of bills have incentives to
form a permanent logroll (Aldrich, 1995; Schwartz, 1992).
The members of a majority coalition, taking care to vote in
the interests of their fellow coalition members, bill after
bill, will in the long run be better off than if they
approached each bill individually. This theoretical finding
is persuasive as to why parties will form, but it does not
readily predict which long coalition will form. The theory
predicts that almost any coalition will be better for its
members than no coalition at all, and while some coalitions
may be more attractive than others, they need not be the
ones that will form. Many such coalitions are thus
potentially stable equilibria. Moreover, there may be
incentives for the losing party to attempt to break up the
winning coalition and establish a different, new majority
coalition. This article attempts to sort out one way in
which this might occur. I argue that coalitions can be
proposed and encouraged outside the legislative setting.
Some might call these coalitions 'ideologies' (e.g. Bawn,
1999), but what is key is that they are organized and argued
for by non-legislative actors perhaps pressuring politicians
to adopt them.
- Figures and
- Figure 1. 1850 Pundit Ideal Points.
- Figure 2. 1850 Discrimination Parameters.
- Figure 3. 1850 Discrimination Magnitudes.
- Figure 4. Discrimination Magnitudes in U.S. House
- Figure 5. Discrimination Magnitudes in U.S. House
- Table 2. Proportionate reduction of errors, Pundits
- Table 3. Party cohesion in the 31st and 36th
If these interpretations are correct, then the most
significant changes to the party system in U.S. history were
driven not only by the electoral calculations of
politicians, but also by the ideological movements
articulated in part by intellectuals.