Parties without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies

By Martin P. Wattenberg; Russell J. Dalton | Go to book overview

4 The Decline of Party Mobilization

Martin P. Wattenberg

When E. E. Schattschneider wrote that 'political parties created democracy' he was primarily referring to their historical role in expanding citizen participation. In the era prior to the development of parties, voting was typically the purview of a small percentage of the populace. Political parties both fought for an expansion of suffrage and mobilized the newly enfranchised to go to the polls. Conversely, throughout history when parties have failed to perform their functions, electoral participation has declined. In sum, the saga of electoral participation in advanced industrialized countries is one in which the state of political parties, and the party system more generally, has played a critical role.

The United States presents an important case study of the relationship between party system development and electoral mobilization. The very first party system in the world appeared in the USA in the late eighteenth century and historians generally credit the emergence of parties with significantly increasing the levels of turnout. William Chambers (1963: 32) writes that turnout figures from this period 'show voting participation increasing as party development and rivalry advanced'. These nascent parties served to stir up interest in political questions and to provide a vehicle through which to channel popular participation.

Most of the leaders of America's first party system did not consider themselves professional politicians, however, and the idea of a regularized party opposition had not yet been conceptualized (Hofstadter 1972). Party leaders who lost their bids for office often withdrew completely from the political arena rather than try to mobilize voters for political change. In particular, the Federalists were poorly organized, and after repeated defeats they no longer even bothered to offer up a presidential candidate by 1820. As this first party system crumbled, it is notable that turnout fell off dramatically—in many states by as much as half (McCormick 1975 : 95-6).

The rise of professional politicians in America's second party system led to the development of party organizations as a means by which to regularly mobilize the electorate. The sharp rise in voting turnout from 27 per cent of white adult males in the multi-factional US presidential election of 1824 to 80 per cent in 1840 is often attributed to the development of keen nationwide party competition. As

-64-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Parties without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Comparative Politics ii
  • Parties Without Partisans iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables x
  • Notes on Contributors xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I Parties in the Electorate 17
  • 2 the Decline of Party Identifications 19
  • Appendix 62
  • 4 the Decline of Party Mobilization 64
  • Part II Parties as Political Organizations 77
  • 5 Parties Without Members? 79
  • Quantitative Changes in the Resourcing of West European Political Parties 126
  • Appendix Leadership Selectorate Details, by Party 150
  • Part III Parties in Government 155
  • 8 Parties in Legislatures: 157
  • 9 Parties at the Core of Government 180
  • Appendix 204
  • 11 on the Primacy of Party in Government 238
  • Conclusion 259
  • Appendix 285
  • References 286
  • Index 311
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 314

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.