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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - Ideologies and Political Parties

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Political Science
Joseph Roman

Feb. 11, 2014 Ideologies and Political Parties • Ideologies as organizing principles • Political parties and ideas • The role of party systems in organizing conflict What are ideologies? • Ideologies are struggles over power • Left/right distinction – what your ideologies were dictated your position in parliament. Left of the king – supporters of the little guy Right of the king – supporters of the aristocracy • Ideologies are fluid and their commitments can change over time – conservative values have changed over time • The legacy and actuality of ideologies (legacy vs. actuality) – ideologies form under particular circumstances. • Ideologies as reactions to something – ideologies affects each other The Four Components of an Ideology 1. Offer a view and representation of the world – what’s the foundation for knowledge? 2. Empirical explanation – this is why the world is as it is 3. Normative prescriptions – what the world could/should be. 4. Plans for action – how do we get from here to there? Conservatism • Edmund Burke as the foundational figure – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – slow change rather than upset everything • Society is viewed organically • Groups are emphasized over individuals • Traditions as the accumulated wisdom of successive generations – don’t like change • Pessimistic about human behavior • Emphasis on hierarchies – knowing your place and maintaining stability • Inequality is inevitable • Suspicious of the free market despite championing capitalism Liberalism • Adam Smith, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill • Self-limiting state • People are inherently good and should develop their own capacities • Laissez faire economics, but states have an obligation to step in and help people if outcomes prevent people from developing their capacities Christian Democracy • Prevalent in Europe because of the role the Catholic Church played • Natural groups, i.e. the family, churches, and communities • Situated against conservatism’s traditional hierarchies, liberalism, individualism, and socialism’s revolutionary fervor – socialists generally reject religion • The state as a mediator of multiple interests • Subsidiarity – let groups govern their own affairs, they know what’s best for themselves Socialism • Capitalism stunts the development of capacities • Inequalities are derived from market-based relationships • Mixed economy • Commitment to democracy – equality is best achieved through the ballot-box The End of Ideology? • Daniel Bell’s The End of Ideology and Seymour Martin Lipset’s Political Man argue material betterment reduces the attraction to ideologies • Ronald Inglehart’s post-materialism and the end of the Left/Right divide that was defined by material politics - questions in society now revolve around moral politics • Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History New Ideologies • Green theory • The resurgence of nationalism • The transformation of ideologies in the face of changing circumstances • Neo-conservatism and the role of the state in social affairs • Neo-liberalism’s emphasis on using the state to make and enhance markets • Third Way politics and the modernization of socialism The Origins of Political Parties • Political parties as central actors in democratic politics • Originated in the assemblies of the 16 to the 19 century • Parties are a congregation of like-minded individuals who seek to do good following certain principles What do Political Parties Do? 1. Give direction to government 2. Act as the recruiting grounds for future executives and legislators 3. Aggregate interests along ideological lines, i.e. party families, to bundle proposals 4. Seek to attract citizens to vote for them The Formation of Political Parties • Cleavages affect the development of parties • New cleavages pop up during political and social change • National revolutions and the process of state-formation occasion regional identities as states consolidate • Cleavages provide for parties’long-term foundations • Cleavages affect what sorts of party systems will be in place, how many parties will exist, which parties will dominate, etc. • Spatial and temporal aspects of cleavages Theories of Political Parties: The Iron Law of Oligarchy • Robert Michels’Political Parties • Al
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