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Richard S Katz, "No man can serve two masters: Party politicians, party members, citizens and principal agent models of democracy," Party Politics, 20 (March 2014), 183-193 [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue2/ ]

First paragraph:
For most of the 20th century, thinking about democracy was primarily structured around the model of 'democratic party government' (Castles and Wildenmann, 1986; Katz, 1987; Rose, 1974). Expressed in the increasingly common terms of principal-agent models, the government administration was understood to be the agent of the ministry, whose members were the agents of the parties in parliament, which were the agents of the electorate (Mu¨ller, 2000; Strøm et al., 2003).

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Simple principal-agent model.
Figure 2. Mass party principal-agent model with three social segments/parties and coalition government.
Figure 4. Mass party principal-agent model with party 1 disaggregated into its 'three faces' [POG 1/4 party on the ground; PCO 1/4 Party Central Office].
Figure 5. Downsian principal-agent model with party 1 disaggregated into its 'three faces' [POG 1/4 party on the ground; PCO 1/4 Party Central Office].
Table 1. Mean percentage of mainstream party manifesto quasisentences concerning honesty, authority and efficiency.

Last Paragraph:
As I have argued here, the party in public office is in an analogous position. Both the simple mass party model and the simple Downsian model, consistent with the 'canonical principal-agent model' (Miller, 2005: 205), assume party to have a single, albeit specific to the particular model, principal. Once party is disaggregated into its three faces, and the institutional and social context in which parties operate is taken into account, however, it becomes apparent that the party in public office in fact has two, potentially competing, principals. Starting from the mass party model, the decay of the social segmentation that undergirded an electoral strategy of mobilization means that the party in public office no longer can act solely as the agent of its party on the ground. Conversely, starting from the Downsian party, the imposition of 'intra-party democracy' means that the party in public office no longer can act solely as the agent of the overall electorate. As a result, rather than being able, and having the clear incentive, to serve one master, the party in public office is forced to try to lessen the ability of either principal to impose sanctions (as illustrated, for example, by the introduction of public subventions as a way of freeing the party in public office from financial dependence on its party on the ground), or to change the criteria for judgment to questions like competence on which the principals agree. But since this means deemphasizing policy, while suggesting that (or how) the electorate as first principal has ultimate control over policy was the reason for raising the principal-agent framework, the ultimate conclusion may be that the value of the kind of simple principal-agent analyses common in this field is to demonstrate their own inadequacy as either explanations or justification of current outcomes, although in more elaborated form, principal-agent analyses may be quite useful in highlighting what has gone wrong.

Last updated March 2014