Faculty research colloquium “Organizational Centralization and Programmatic Accountability in Political Parties”

Thursday, April 9th 2015, 15h, at Room E001 (Maria de Molina 4)

This paper of Daniel Kselman investigates how particular organizational structures can buttress the clarity and credibility of parties’ policy promises. In contrast to past literature, we argue that organizational centralization has countervailing effects. On the one hand, powerful leaders may help diverse internal actors coordinate on unified policy platforms; on the other hand, their ‘entrepreneurial’ tendencies may reduce these platforms’ downstream credibility.

We thus hypothesize that in highly heterogeneous organizations centralization will enhance programmatic credibility and reliability; while in more homogeneous and unified parties centralization will have detrimental consequences. This theoretical argument is explored with a new data set on party organization and programmatic partisan appeals. Statistical results are on the whole consistent with theoretical expectations, and robust to controls for economic development, democracy, and political institutions.

 

Professor Kselman is Academic Director at IE School of International Relations. He received a PhD in political science from Duke University, where he also received a Master’s degree in Economics. His research emphasizes the processes of democratization, economic development, and political governance, and combines a global focus with case expertise on Turkish politics and society.