Persuasion in Politics
12 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2004 Last revised: 4 Jul 2021
Date Written: January 2004
We present a model of the creation of social networks, such as political parties, trade unions, religious coalitions, or political action committees, through discussion and mutual persuasion among their members. The key idea is that people are influenced by those inside their network, but not by those outside. Once created, networks can be rented out' to politicians who seek votes and support for their initiatives and ideas, which may have little to do with network members' core beliefs. In this framework, political competition does not lead to convergence of party platforms to the views of the median voter. Rather, parties separate their messages and try to isolate their members to prevent personal influence from those in the opposition.
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