Reserves: Aldrich, LaPalombara and
Weiner, Neumann, Duverger,
Kirchheimer, Epstein, Pizzorno.
Why did political parties develop?
What is an internally created party?
What is an externally created party?
What is a cadre party? Mass party? Catch-all
How do we explain the evolution of political
The formation of what we
consider modern political
parties can be linked to:
1) Growing autonomy of
◦ Political elites had to ensure
that political decisions could
be reached.
2) Expansion of suffrage.
◦ Political elites had to appeal
to the masses as the
suffrage expands; new types
of parties emerge to appeal
to new voters.
3) Avenues to political power.
◦ Political elites saw a value in
creating political parties as a
way to wield political power.
Despite attempts to govern without political
parties, they have developed.
The circumstances under which political
parties form have critical effects on the
political system.
Political parties have evolved to meet
changing political and social environments.
Same patterns we observe in developed
democracies seen as developing
democracies become established.
Duverger (1954)
◦ Cadre parties
Neumann (1956)
◦ Parties of individual
Politics centered on
connections to aristocracy.
◦ Political office doled out as
royal favors of sorts.
Difficult to conceive of modern
political parties in this
◦ No attempt to appeal to the
By the 18th century, rule by royal prerogative
is disappearing.
Eighteenth century politics centered on
conceptions of suffrage based on property.
◦ Limited electoral audiences did not require political
platforms that appealed to mass audiences.
But groups did develop within the legislature
(i.e. internally created)
◦ Why? To be able to make decisions within the
 Example: Tories vs. Liberals in the UK.
Constituency organizations relatively weak at
this point.
◦ Limited suffrage reduced the need for
constituency organization.
Temporary electoral committees (or
caucuses) would spring up around election
time to promote candidates.
◦ Connections are based not on quantity of
members but on quality of connections.
◦ Caucuses dissolved in between elections, so the
constituency organizations are not permanent.
Framers opposed the idea of
political parties (Federalist
Aldrich 1995
Big ticket issues such as
placing the capital, and
financial disputes
surrounding the Revolution
were hotly debated with no
◦ Formation of legislative factions
useful to organize this debate.
Members owed position in
both chambers to personal
connections rather than mass
◦ Cadre organization
US parties then begin to
“look like” political parties in
Duverger: 1954
Nascent political parties were a collection of
caucuses roughly tied to parliamentary
◦ Initially, not predicated on ideology
As calls for suffrage expand, demands from
movements from outside parliament (i.e.
working classes) challenge elite dominance
Once cadre parties have to seek support within
the electorate, parliamentary factions merge
with constituency caucuses.
◦ Cadre parties are the norm in a social context that
emphasizes social rather than ideological
◦ Cadre parties are not as viable in an ideologically
based political system.
Duverger 1954
◦ Mass parties
Neumann 1956
◦ Parties of social integration
Growth of working class
movements pressured political
elites to expand suffrage.
Working class organizations
could not rely on legislative
connections to express their
◦ These parties formed
externally, drawing on mass
Caucus form of organization
was not viable for these
parties; branch organization
more appropriate
◦ Members would pay dues
and become active in local
branches of the party.
Quantity of members key.
◦ Mass parties created
cradle to grave
organizations for their
memberships; party
organization always
Initially, mass parties were
a function of the left
◦ Great for mobilization.
Parties of the right began to
adopt the branch style of
organization in response.
Push for large membership
rolls on both sides of the
political debate begins the
era of mass parties.
Internally created
Organized via caucuses
organizations dissolved
in between elections
Generally less
ideologically charged.
Appeal to elites; “quality”
of membership key.
Were predominantly
liberal or conservative.
Externally created
Organized via branches
permanently in place.
Generally more
ideologically charged.
Appeal to masses;
“quantity” of membership
socialist/social democrat
or Christian democrat.
US never develops truly mass based parties per se; party
funding never based on dues.
Epstein 1966:
◦ US political parties remain funded by notables but
attempt to appeal to masses.
Aldrich 1995:
◦ Van Buren attempted to create a party “bigger than its
◦ Created mass based electoral mechanisms to win
election in disparate regions; ideological vagueness
suited party’s electoral goals.
◦ Whigs follow suit; Whigs and Democrats compete to
controls spoils of office.
◦ Arguably collude to prevent the issue of slavery from
coming to the forefront.
Neumann 1956
◦ Parties of total integration
 Seek to encapsulate the lives of the citizenry
Duverger 1956
◦ Devotee parties
 A type of mass party.
 Aim to enroll the masses but closely guard
the “purity” of the movement.
 More open than caucuses but more restrictive
than mss parties
◦ Typically referred to communist and fascist
◦ Communist parties adopt a cell rather than a branch
 Branch unites members on the basis of location
 Cell unites members on the basis of occupation
rather than location.
 Typically much smaller than branches, intensity of
devotion to cause is key.
◦ Fascist parties adopt a militia rather than a branch or
cell approach
 Militias tend to adopt a more military facade.
 Involvement not limited to the typically “political”
(i.e. violence/intimidation)
Kirchheimer 1966
Catch all parties:
Major parties cooperate to forestall a rise in
political extremism.
◦ 1) Mass party in a post ideological state
◦ 2) Electoral success trumps ideology.
◦ Socialist parties are finally brought into
◦ As socialist parties enter government, class
distinctions begin to wane.
Political parties begin to look for votes
“outside their base” to gain political
Kirchheimer 1966
Strategy involves:
◦ 1) jettisoning “ideological baggage”
◦ 2) trumpeting efficiency of administration over
ideological goals.
◦ 3) reducing the role of individual party member
while boosting the role of the central party.
◦ 4) reducing emphasis on classe gardée to pull
votes from other societal groupings.
◦ 5) creating channels within various interest
groups to boost electoral support.
Only major parties can make this transition.
◦ Not all parties will go this route.
 Example: Niche parties
Epstein 1967
Catch all strategy facilitated by new
communications and informational
technology (i.e. TV).
◦ TV reduces the emphasis on building mass
membership bases.
Catch all parties need access to funds to
buy advertising;.
◦ No problem for the middle class parties but
tough for working class parties.
Parties seek to get the funds necessary to
compete effectively.
◦ Unions become key for parties of the left;
business organizations for parties of the right.
Mass parties provide
critical integration and
expressive functions not
provided by catch all
Reduced focus on
controversial legislation.
Catch all parties may lose
their traditional
supporters as a result.
Allows parties to
jettison more
Political parties are
free to compromise.
Parties can gain
freedom from
ideological activists or
Emphasize an elected
Appeal to ‘electorate of
Internal leaders are
Financing through
membership dues.
Emphasize ideology.
Emphasize political
professionals in
Appeal to ‘opinion
Public leadership is
Financing through public
funds and/or interest
Emphasize leadership
and specific issues.
Pizzorno 1981
Convergence: Party statements and policies
look different to party specialists and
activists but not to the electorate.
◦ Linked to adoption of catch-all strategies as well
as full expansion of the suffrage.
External pressure groups have been
accepted into the system; their demands
have now become “negotiable”
May reduce ideological spread between
governing parties.
◦ But some argue this fosters disillusionment.
US political parties are typically viewed as cadre
◦ Mass parties never caught on in the US
◦ Although both the Democrats and Republicans
typically make “catch-all type” electoral appeals.
Aldrich 1995:
◦ Suggests evidence of convergence until the 1970’s.
◦ Highlights the role of supporters and activists to both
major political parties.
Present era: seeing a return to ideological
differentiation amongst the major parties.
Should point out that these are ideal types.
◦ Some overlap between eras.
◦ Some systems have parties with many different organizational
 Example: Canada
◦ One organizational type has not necessarily “won out” across
all democratic systems.
Convergence occurring in advanced democracies.
◦ Developing democracies show a similar pattern once the party
system stabilizes.
◦ The typical response has been more elite cooperation across
parties rather than differentiation.
Katz and Mair 1997:
◦ New laws have allowed “accepted” parties to “collude”
to prevent the rise of new parties and maintain control
of the governing apparatus.
It has been argued that the “cartelization” of party
systems is prompting a rise in political extremism.
Game: Primitive Politics
 Theme: Parties and Membership
◦ Readings:
 Ware CH 2 and D/W Ch 5