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Democratic partisanship: from theoretical ideal to empirical standard

Herman, Lise Esther (2017) Democratic partisanship: from theoretical ideal to empirical standard. American Political Science Review, 111 (4). pp. 738-754. ISSN 0003-0554

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0003055417000247


In recent years, a number of scholars have taken parties and partisanship as objects of normative theorizing. They posit partisanship as a fundamentally democratic practice and develop a model of what partisans can do at their best to contribute to liberal democracy. However, the standards the literature puts forth remain insufficiently specified to serve as empirical benchmarks. This article further conceptualizes this model of democratic partisanship and offers a theoretical framework within which to empirically evaluate the democratic merits of partisan discourses. It establishes a series of indicators for assessing the extent to which partisan discourse displays two main qualities: cohesiveness and respect for political pluralism. The article then discusses the implications of using this theoretical framework as a basis for empirical studies and shows how the model can thereby benefit both political scientists and theorists.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 American Political Science Association
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 11:47
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2024 22:39

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