RWAP: Joseph Warren

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
12:00pm to 1:30pm
119 Moses Hall, Harris Room
UC Berkeley


At some times in American history, national political parties incorporate heterogeneous geographic and ideological constituencies (like Northern and Southern Democrats in the mid-twentieth century), while at other times, political parties are ideologically unified and geographically concentrated. We refer to the latter type of party alignment as a "sectional'' alignment. We argue that the federal nature of the American party system, in which state parties hold an important degree of ideological flexibility, plays a key role in determining the conditions under which national parties divide along a sectional ideological cleavage. We present a formal model showing different ways in which sectional issue cleavages are incorporated into the party system.