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Essays on functions and organisations of political parties

Lee, Suhjin (2016) Essays on functions and organisations of political parties. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis consists of the three papers that present new formal models of functions and organisations of political parties. The models begin with a particular function or organisational feature of political parties and integrate it with the related issues that the formal literature in political science has either discussed separately or has not paid sufficient attention to. The first paper analyses the strategic interactions between parties and their candidates in elections. It answers the question of why parties provide greater campaign support toward open-seat races than reelection races; to what extent campaign support of parties influences and incentivises valence investment of individual candidates. It also identifies and distinguishes party and personal attributes to an incumbency advantage and discovers a ‘multiplying’ effect that the sequential nature of reelection race has on the advantage. The second paper discusses intraparty competition between factions. It identifies a trade-off between collective and individual benefits in faction members’ choice between intraparty factions and provides a theoretical explanation for factional splits and merges observed in politics. It differentiates itself from the small literature of factions, which is often found to be insufficient to analyse the dynamics of intraparty factions, by incorporating a hierarchical structure of party organisations. The third paper integrates different types of organisational hierarchies, in power, as the second paper does, and in decision procedures and connects them to the longevity of political power. It analyses endogenous allocation of power that gives rise to a specific pattern of power hierarchy that best serves the two objectives of political power, the absolute size and longevity of power. It also shows that the optimal power hierarchy differs across the types of decision hierarchies, indicating the decision-making procedures adopted by a parties. It offers a theoretical explanation to why some parties have undergone more frequent leadership turnover

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Suhjin Lee
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Dewan, Torun

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