A Model of Electoral Competition With Factional Sabotage

33 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2019 Last revised: 2 Apr 2019

See all articles by Giovanna Maria Invernizzi

Giovanna Maria Invernizzi

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 26, 2019


Intra-party sabotage is widespread and detrimental to political parties. This paper examines the interaction between party leadership and factions in a probabilistic model of elections, where the occurrence of sabotage is driven by both intra-party and inter-party competition. Factions can devote their campaign resources to either promote the party or to undermine other factions. Leaders decide how to redistribute electoral spoils among factions in form of prizes, based on an imperfect indicator of factions’ resource allocation. Results show that, as electoral security and proportionality of the institutional setting increase, inter-party competition becomes less salient and in equilibrium factions invest more resources in sabotaging each other when sabotage helps to win the prize set by the leader. Anticipating these incentives, the leadership chooses prizes that lead factions to internalize the cost of working against the party. The model helps to rationalize the occurrence of corruption scandals driven by intra-party sabotage, and the observed dispersion in party organizational structure.

Keywords: Factions, Party Organization, Electoral Competition, Sabotage

Suggested Citation

Invernizzi, Giovanna Maria, A Model of Electoral Competition With Factional Sabotage (March 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3329622 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3329622

Giovanna Maria Invernizzi (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

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