Power Sharing, Mobilization, and Party Organization
33 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2019 Last revised: 15 Oct 2019
Date Written: September 30, 2019
We study the internal organization of political parties as the solution of a moral hazard problem between a party principal (or selectorate) and two factions. Factional mobilization effort bolsters a party's electoral chances but can only be imperfectly monitored – via an internal contest. We model a party's internal organization as a system of "prizes,'' an allocation of resources between winner and loser of the internal contest. We show that when (i) a party's baseline electoral strength is low and (ii) electoral outcomes are not too responsive to mobilization efforts (e.g., when the electorate is polarized), there is an inverse relationship between inter-party power sharing and intra-party power sharing: institutional settings that award more resources and policy influence to election winners should feature parties whose internal organization features a more egalitarian allocation of power across factions. Our results help organize the empirically documented dispersion in party organizational structures (leadership autonomy, centralization of candidate selection, and the formal recognition of factions in the party statute).
Keywords: Power Sharing, Party Organization, Political Contests
JEL Classification: D02, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation