Intraparty and Interparty Politics: Factions, Fractions, Parties, and Coalitions in Uruguay (1985-1999)

By Altman, David | Ibero-americana, January 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

Intraparty and Interparty Politics: Factions, Fractions, Parties, and Coalitions in Uruguay (1985-1999)


Altman, David, Ibero-americana


I. INTRODUCTION

A vast majority of the studies in coalition formation and survival, either in parliamentary or presidential regimes, take political parties as the critical units of analysis. Political parties are crucial organizations in contemporary democracies. Although there is an important literature on intra-party politics, little research has been done on how differences in party organization affect party's willingness to engage in coalition politics. The body of coalition theory, especially those works made from a rational choice perspective, treats patties as unitary actors that bargain over a set of well-defined gains-usually, office or policy. In this assumption there is some truth, but more error. It is not that parties do not pursue offices or policies, but rather the idea of parties as unitary actors. Parties are complex organizations, where internal divisions and structures affect how they and their leaders politically behave.

In analyzing the motivations of political parties to join an executive coalition we frequently focus our attention on their electoral, office, and policy gains. While some scholars stress one of these motivations, i.e. office and vote (Downs 1957); policy (Wittman 1973); office (McCubbins y Rosenbluth 1995), other scholars combine them in one way or another (Altman 2000, Strom 1990, Strom y Müller 1999). Although some scholars seek to capture the complexity of political parties' goals, a broad body of the literature on inter-party politics treats parties as unitary actors. Perceiving parties as unitary actors has its advantages in terms of research resources, and that in some instances it is indeed legitimate to study interparty politics assuming parties are unitary actors. Nonetheless, it is a rather simplistic view of political parties and there are important works in the literature that have already underlined the problems attached to considering parties as such (Coppedge 1994, Katz y Mair 1992, Laver y Shepsle 1999). In fact, "although many interesting political phenomena can be described by treating parties as if they were unitary actors, we clearly do need to consider what goes on inside parties if we want to include an account of party decision making in a model of some political process" (Laver y Shepsle 1999:23).

Moreover, "the scholarly literature that examines political parties is enormous, and yet our systematic knowledge of party objectives and behavior is still quite modest" (Strem y Millier 1999:5). Thus, if we are aware that political parties are rather complex organizations, why is there so little research on how intra-party politics affect coalition bargaining? As Druckman remarks,

This gap has two explanations. First, despite the large amount of theoretical knowledge of intra-party functioning, little empirical data have been historically available for testing propositions. second, the theoretical literature on inter-party competition often starts from the premise that parties are unitary, allowing for more parsimonious models (Druckman 1996:398).

Most case-studies on coalition formation and survival tend to assume internal party organization as a constant variable and therefore, these institutions are usually not empirically studied. If there is not variation among party internal institutions, it would be methodologically correct to leave them aside and to concentrate in inter-party bargaining, as usually happens. Yet, given that inter-party relations are extremely complex to be captured in one or several indicators, statistical cross-national analyses of coalitions almost always give priority to structural characteristics of political parties (legislative size, ideological positions, age of parties, etc.), rather than inter-party relations, which are at best, inadequately defined.

This paper tries to shed light on the connection between intra-party politics and inter-party relations, especially on those issues concerning executive coalition formation and survival using the Uruguayan case. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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 article

This article 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 article

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

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 article

Intraparty and Interparty Politics: Factions, Fractions, Parties, and Coalitions in Uruguay (1985-1999)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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

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.
    Sign up now 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.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.