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Party Brands in Crisis
Partisanship, Brand Dilution, and the Breakdown of Political Parties in Latin America

$33.99 (C)

  • Author: Noam Lupu, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107423206

$ 33.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Why have so many established political parties across Latin America collapsed in recent years? Party Brands in Crisis offers an explanation that highlights the effect of elite actions on voter behavior. During the 1980s and 1990s, political elites across the region implemented policies inconsistent with the traditional positions of their party, provoked internal party conflicts, and formed strange-bedfellow alliances with traditional rivals. These actions diluted party brands and eroded voter attachment. Without the assured support of a partisan base, parties became more susceptible to short-term retrospective voting, and voters without party attachments deserted incumbent parties when they performed poorly. Party Brands in Crisis offers the first general explanation of party breakdown in Latin America, reinforcing the interaction between elite behavior and mass attitudes.

    • Technical jargon, mathematical equations, and complex regression tables are avoided
    • Proposes a theory that links voter attachment to parties and party strategy, appealing to those interested in mass behavior or party politics
    • Combines multiple methods: large-N regression analysis, case studies, and experiments
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Why do established parties sometimes dramatically collapse, often within a single electoral cycle? Lupu's persuasive answer is that such collapse occurs when parties switch positions, make unholy alliances with former adversaries, and converge on the policy positions of their opponents in order to attract floating voters and win the next election. When leaders thus "dilute the party brand", parties hemorrhage partisans and are in turn left defenseless against the wrath of the electorate in hard times. Party Brands in Crisis challenges the way we think about partisanship and deserves to be read by students of political parties everywhere."
    Frances Hagopian, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    "Why do long-lasting parties collapse? In answering this question Lupu demonstrates how, as the result of strategic decisions made by the party elite, party brands can become diluted and voter attachments to parties can become attenuated. This is a book every scholar of parties will want to read. It promises to help reshape the way we think and talk about party labels and partisan loyalty."
    Allen Hicken, University of Michigan

    "Party Brands in Crisis may be the most important book on Latin American parties published in a generation. It offers a compelling theory - and an impressive array of evidence - to explain why many established parties have weakened or collapsed in Latin America over the last quarter century. In so doing, it highlights a crucial consequence of the region's programmatic convergence during the 1990s: parties that embraced the Washington Consensus diluted their brands and, consequently, ceased to stand for anything in the eyes of their supporters. Party Brands in Crisis is destined to become a classic work in the literature on political parties. It will be a must-read not only for scholars of Latin American politics but for anyone interested in political parties."
    Steven Levitsky, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    "Lupu provides here a very significant contribution to the literature on political parties, and especially to our understanding of Latin American politics. He develops a novel and insightful theory about party brands and their erosion based on ideological convergence and negative performance. He tests the implications of his theory making an impressive use of multiple methodologies to explain party breakdown in Latin America. Moreover, the implications of his study go beyond the region as suggested by his exploration of the relationship between polarization and party brands. In sum, this book is most likely to generate a new research agenda for the study of political parties, which will have a long-lasting effect on the discipline."
    M. Victoria Murillo, Columbia University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107423206
    • length: 263 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Why do parties break down?
    2. Brand dilution and party breakdown
    3. Explaining party breakdown across Latin America
    4. Argentina - Peronism survives, radicals collapse
    5. Venezuela - AD and COPEI break down
    6. Party brands and mass partisanship - experimental evidence
    7. Party brands and mass partisanship in comparative perspective
    8. Parties, partisanship, and democracy: conclusions.

  • Author

    Noam Lupu, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Noam Lupu is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Trice Faculty Scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, Political Behavior, and World Politics, among others. His dissertation, on which this book is based, won the Gabriel A. Almond Award and Juan Linz Prize. In 2014, he received the Emerging Scholar Award from the Political Organizations and Parties section of the American Political Science Association.

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