PLSC 485a/663a
Week IV. Reading Guide

Peter Mair (ed.) The West European Party System Oxford University Press, 1990; Chapters 3, 5
The chapter by Maurice Duverger contrasts organizational structures at the local level. What does a branch do that a caucus does not? Which types of parties organize into branches and which into caucuses? Is it possible for a party to have both branches and caucuses? When might this make sense? Do the American Democratic and Republican parties have branches, caucuses, or both?
What differentiates a "catch all" party from prewar mass or class based parties? What types of issues would a "catch all" party stress? Do you think the American parties are "catch all" parties?

Robert Michels Political Parties 1915; Part One, Chapters 1, 2, 3
Ch. 1 = Introductory, the need for organization;
Ch. 2 = Mechanical and Technical Impossibility of Direct Government by the Masses;
Ch. 3 = The Modern Democratic Party as a Fighting Party, Dominated by Militarist Ideas and Methods.)

Why is organization important in democracy? Is it equally important for everyone? Why is direct democracy impractical? Which of his arguments seem less relevant today (85 years after he wrote them)?. How do Michels' arguments compare with Schumpeter's?
How are leaders of organizations different from the members? Does drawing leaders from the membership reduce this difference?
How does competition among parties strengthen party leaders at the expense of members?

Herbert Kitschelt The Logics of Party Formation Ecological Politics in Belgium and West Germany Cornell University Press 1989; Chapter 2
What influences the structure of a political party other than electoral competition? Why might there be a tension between the goal of electoral success and the representation of party members' policy or ideological preferences?
What kind of party organization would be preferred by "ideologues," "pragmatists," or "lobbyists"?