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In defense of factions

Dewan, Torun and Squintani, Francesco (2016) In defense of factions. American Journal of Political Science, 60 (4). 860 - 881. ISSN 0092-5853

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ajps.12226


We model faction formation in a world where party politicians’ objective is the development of an informed program of governance. Politicians’ preferences reflect their own views and their information that, when aggregated via intra-party deliberations, influences the party manifesto. By joining a faction a politician increases the influence of its leader on the manifesto, but foregoes his individual bargaining power. For broad model specifications we find that a faction formation process allows power to be transferred to moderate politicians. This facilitates information sharing, so increasing the capacity of the party to attain its objective. These positive welfare effects may hold even when factionalism restricts intra-party dialogue, and hold a fortiori when information is freely exchanged across factions. We conclude that the existence of ideological factions may benefit a party: it provides a means to tie uninformed or extremist politicians to more moderate and informed faction leaders.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 Midwest Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2015 10:01
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2020 04:56

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