Engines of Change: Party Factions in American Politics, 1868-2010

ISBN : 9780199891702

Daniel DiSalvo
264 Pages
162 x 237 mm
Pub date
May 2012
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In Engines of Change, which is part the Oxford Studies in Postwar American Political Development series, Daniel DiSalvo provides the first full account of the role of these national intra-party "factions" in American politics. A faction, as defined here, is a party sub-unit that has enough ideological consistency, organizational capacity, and temporal durability to sustain intra-party conflict. Drawing from the last 150 years of American political history, DiSalvo explains how factions have shaped the parties' ideologies, impacted presidential nominations, structured patterns of presidential governance, and impacted the development of the American state. He demonstrates that factions can acquire the power to shape the parties' ideologies, impact presidential nominations, structure the patterns of presidential governance, and impact the development of the American state. Indeed, factions are often just as or more important than the parties themselves in driving political change. Sweeping in scope, Engines of Change promises to reshape our understanding of the forces most responsible for driving political change in modern American history.


Preface: Parties and Factions in American Politics
I. Introduction: Four Questions about American Party Factions
II. Factions and the Study of American Political Parties
III. Conveyor Belts of Ideas: Factions and Party Ideology
IV. Selecting a Party Leader: Factions and Presidential Nominations
V. Breaking up the Party: Factions and Splinter Parties
VI. Power Distributors: Factions in Congress
VII. Shaping the Situation: Factions and the President
VIII. Factions and American State Building
IX. Factions, Party Responsibility, and American Institutions

About the author: 

Assistant Professor of Political Science, City College of New York (CUNY)

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