Crafting Mass Partisanship at the Grass Roots, from the Top Down

British Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming

34 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2012 Last revised: 22 Jan 2014

See all articles by David J. Samuels

David J. Samuels

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Political Science

Cesar Zucco

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 26, 2012

Abstract

What are the sources of mass partisanship? We focus on the role of party organizational strategies in Brazil, a case where sociological cleavages are weak. All Brazilian parties post electoral gains by opening local branch offices, but only the Workers' Party (PT) manages to also win voters' hearts and minds, cultivating mass partisan identification. The PT's cultivation of mass partisanship follows from its deliberate effort to use its local party organization to reach out to organized civil society --- to "mobilize the organized." Results further indicate that the PT only gains partisan identifiers where civil society is organizationally dense. Together, this suggests that party strategy to cultivate partisanship is insufficient: pre-existing organizational networks must exist in civil society, meaning that 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' strategies can be the flip sides of the same coin.

Keywords: parties, political institutions, elections

Suggested Citation

Samuels, David J. and Zucco, Cesar, Crafting Mass Partisanship at the Grass Roots, from the Top Down (February 26, 2012). British Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2002166

David J. Samuels

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Political Science ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55455-0410
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.polisci.umn.edu/~dsamuels/

Cesar Zucco (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE) ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Brazil

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