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Hans Noel, "Which long coalition? The creation of the anti-slavery coalition," Party Politics, 19 (November 2013), 962-984. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
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 Tables:
Figure 1. 1850 Pundit Ideal Points.
Figure 2. 1850 Discrimination Parameters.
Figure 3. 1850 Discrimination Magnitudes.
Figure 4. Discrimination Magnitudes in U.S. House (1849-1850).
Figure 5. Discrimination Magnitudes in U.S. House (1859-1860).
Table 2. Proportionate reduction of errors, Pundits and Congress.
Table 3. Party cohesion in the 31st and 36th houses.

Last Paragraph:
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.

Last updated November 2013