Building: Business School South Room: Room B02
Intra-party cohesion is a crucial feature of parliamentary democracies. Government’s stability and survival as well as legislative activity greatly depend on the capacity of political parties to work as unified entities. But parties are not monolithic organizations: they aggregate more or less divergent views; include followers and leaders; and are organized along a hierarchical or stratarchical structure. Intra-party divisions can be frequent between and within the faces of the party: party members’ dissatisfaction with their local section (party on the ground); divisions at party congresses surrounding the elaboration of the party platform or leadership selection (central office); disunity of legislators voting behavior (public office). Given these dissensions, how do parties manage to work as cohesive blocks?
This is the topic addressed by this workshop especially that it becomes even more relevant at a time when party organizations are in a continuous process of transformation through processes such as cartelization, intra-party democratization, and dealignement. These developments are likely to influence the degree of cohesion between and within the faces of the party. For example, we may expect greater dissensions between grassroots supporters and their elites as the latter are moving away from civil society and enhancing their position in the state; while intra-party democratization may increase grassroots’ control of their leaders. Intra-party democratization might increase the heterogeneity of interests and ideas among party members, while cartelization might bring resources that leaders can use as ‘carrots’ to incentivize cohesion among public officials.
This workshop aims to achieve four objectives: (1) To define cohesion (with different meaning in the literature); 2) To identify ways to measure cohesion (within and between the faces of the party); (3) To identify determinants of cohesion and (4) To analyze how party transformations affect parties’ capacity to function as collective entities.