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Why Dominant Governing Parties Are Cross-Nationally Influential

Bohmelt, TFK and Ezrow, L and Lehrer, R and Schleiter, P and Ward, H (2017) 'Why Dominant Governing Parties Are Cross-Nationally Influential.' International Studies Quarterly, 61 (4). 749 - 759. ISSN 0020-8833

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Abstract

Previous research suggests that political parties learn from and emulate the successful election strategies of governing parties in other countries. But what explains variation in the degree of influence that governing parties have on their foreign counterparts? We argue that “clarity of responsibility” within government, or the concentration of executive responsibility in the hands of a dominant governing party, allows parties to learn from the most obviously electorally successful incumbents. It therefore enhances the cross-national diffusion of party programs. To test this expectation, we analyze parties’ policy positions in 26 established democracies since 1977. Our results indicate that parties disproportionately learn from and emulate dominant, highclarity foreign incumbents. This finding contributes to a better understanding of the political consequences of “government clarity” and sheds new light on the heuristics that engender party policy diffusion by demonstrating that the most visible foreign incumbents, whose platforms have yielded concentrated power in office, influence party politics “at home.”

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: clarity of responsibility, government clarity, elections, party policy positions, policy diffusion, political parties
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 11:36
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2018 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20416

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