New PDF release: Modernising the Labour Party: Organizational Change since

By Thomas Quinn

Few events have gone through such accomplished organizational switch because the Labour social gathering on account that 1983. Labour's association as soon as institutionalized the political alternate among office-seeking politicians and the party's policy-seeking alternate union paymasters. utilizing obtainable rational selection versions, Thomas Quinn explores how consecutive election defeats triggered occasion leaders to modernize this constitution to regain electorate' belief, lowering union impact in policymaking, parliamentary candidate choice and management contests. the cost could be a centralized occasion liable to club go out and union investment cuts.

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However, it is of limited use for analysing the minutiae of changes that took place in a single party over a twenty-year period, which is the task before us. A more fine-grained approach to the study of party organisation and party change is required. In this respect, the rival ‘exchange’ model of party organisation is particularly helpful. A principal argument of this book is that the internal organisation of parties, and their relationships with voters, is usefully comprehended in terms of political exchange, the exchange of votes and/or resources for policy promises.

The leader of the leftist party would have an incentive to shift marginally towards the median voter because, although it is a small distance from his preferred position, it is enough to defeat the rightist party, whose policies are detested by leftists. Similarly, the leader of the rightist party would shift closer towards the median voter, and at the limit the two parties would be in equilibrium at the median-voter position. Thus, whether as office-seekers or policy-seekers, the competitive dynamics in a two-party system are the same.

By contrast, highly specific assets are vulnerable to opportunistic behaviour in market exchange, such as ex post attempts to renegotiate contracts, so they are more efficiently organised in firms through a process of ‘vertical integration’. It might be efficient for the supplier of components to a large manufacturer to situate its own premises nearby, but it could fall victim to ex post opportunism, and find it too expensive to switch to other manufacturers, because of higher transportation costs.

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