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Creating Political PresenceThe New Politics of Democratic Representation$
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Dario Castiglione and Johannes Pollak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226588360

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226588674.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 January 2020

Political Parties and Conflict Handling

Political Parties and Conflict Handling

(p.86) Chapter Four Political Parties and Conflict Handling
Creating Political Presence

John Erik Fossum

University of Chicago Press

Political scientists have long been fascinated with political parties, but it is only recently that political theorists have started taking note of them and of the role that partisanship plays within the democratic process. As Nancy Rosenblum notes, one of the main rationales for political parties is to handle and civilize conflicts. How this happens is still understudied. This chapter provides an analytical framework for such a discussion. In doing this, the chapter makes use of Albert Hirschman’s famous categories of “exit, voice, and loyalty,” integrating them with Stein Rokkan’s “entry." It deploys such categories to explain the mechanisms that parties use for handling conflicts while performing their representative role. Different mechanisms apply to the way in which parties operate either in their representative functions (being responsive and shaping the identity of their members/voters), or in the way they handle societal conflicts. It is possible that political parties perform their civilizing and conflict handling role at the cost of fully expressing their voters’ political identity and democratic voice; but such civilizing function remains essential in order to provide a framework for democratic politics.

Keywords:   political parties, conflict handling, civilizing conflicts

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