Political Parties in a Critical Era

  title={Political Parties in a Critical Era},
  author={John H. Aldrich},
  journal={American Politics Research},
  pages={32 - 9}
  • John H. Aldrich
  • Published 1 January 1999
  • Political Science
  • American Politics Research
American political history is ordinarily divided into categories called party systems. Each system contains within it a broad similarity, an apparent “equilibrium” or “politics as usual” that distinguish it from all others. The generational regularity of the transition from one party system to the next is remarkable. Or, at least it was until the critical era expected in the 1960s apparently failed to materialize. Richard Niemi and I earlier argued that, in fact, there was a critical era in the… 

Figures from this paper

Did Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison “Cause” the U.S. Government Shutdown? The Institutional Path from an Eighteenth Century Republic to a Twenty-first Century Democracy
This address asks how we got to today’s politics in America; a politics of polarized political parties engaged in close political competition in a system of checks and balances. The result has often
George W. Bush, the Republican Party, and the “New” American Party System
Scholars have long expressed concern that the ascendance of the modern presidency since the New Deal and World War II, by hastening the decline of political parties and fostering the expansion of the
Challenges to the American Two-Party System: Evidence from the 1968, 1980, 1992, and 1996 Presidential Elections
Recent successes by independent presidential candidates raise questions about the stability of the American two-party system. Students of electoral behavior point to party decline, whereas analysts
The Passing of Realignment and the Advent of the “Base-less” Party System
This article is an attempt to merge two of the more significant developments in recent American politics: the failure of our system to undergo a partisan-based realignment and the advent of
Northern Democrats and Party Polarization in the U.S. House
: Over the last 25 years, there has been a steady increase in party voting in the U.S. House, with much of this increase attributed to changes in the South. We argue that changes in the North are
Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics
The national electoral map has split into warring regional bastions of Republican red and Democratic blue, producing a deep and enduring partisan divide in American politics. In Red Fighting Blue,
The Rise of Partisanship and the Expansion of Partisan Conflict within the American Electorate
Recent research has outlined important changes in partisanship among political elites in the United States. Specifically, the effect of partisanship on politicians’ vote choice and other political
Parliamentary party groups and their parties: A comparative assessment
This article presents a comparative study of the interrelationship between parliamentary party groups and their extra‐parliamentary party organisations in liberal democracies. Starting with a
The Democratic Peace and the Wisdom of Crowds
This article proposes a new theory for the democratic peace that highlights a previously unexplored advantage enjoyed by democracies in crises. We argue that because democracies typically include a
Mobilization Matters: The Changing Impact of Mobilization on Vote Choice in Congressional Elections, 1978-2002
A probit analysis of National Election Studies data finds that unlike earlier midterm elections, Republican mobilization significantly increased the vote for Republicans from Republicans in 1994, as


Parties and leaders in the postreform house
Since the Second World War, congressional parties have been characterized as declining in strength and influence. Research has generally attributed this decline to policy conflicts within parties, to
Postwar Politics In The G-7: Orders And Eras In Comparative Perspective
This comparative history looks at politics in the nations collectively known as the Group of Seven - the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Italy - from the end of World War
The Republican Revolution and the House Appropriations Committee
This study applies the theory of "conditional party government" to the interaction between the Republican party and the Appropriations Committee in the 104th House, seen in the context of
Emerging Party Cleavages in the House of Representatives, 1962-1996
Income has the potential to divide people politically. Most attempts to assess the impact of income focus on individual-level analyses. Representatives, however, are elected in districts, which have
Critical Elections: And the Mainsprings of American Politics
Ibid., ¶ 3– “... eras of critical realignment are marked by short, sharp reorganizations of the mass coalitional bases of the major parties which occur a periodic intervals on the national level;
The Passing of Realignment and the Advent of the “Base-less” Party System
This article is an attempt to merge two of the more significant developments in recent American politics: the failure of our system to undergo a partisan-based realignment and the advent of
A Theory of Critical Elections
  • V. Key
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Politics
  • 1955
PERHAPS the basic differentiating characteristic of democratic orders consists in the expression of effective choice by the mass of the people in elections.' The electorate occupies, at least in the
“Culture Wars” in the American Party System
This article uses surveys of the parties' national convention delegates from 1972 to 1992 to examine the emergence of a religious cleavage between Republican and Democratic activists. The findings
Congressional Elections: The Case of the Vanishing Marginals
Party gains and losses in House seats constitute one instrument, however imperfect, for voter influence on the national government, Mayhew suggests. But the data indicate that "the House seat swing
Strategic Politicians and the Dynamics of U.S. House Elections, 1946–86
Analysis of both district-level and aggregate time-series data from postwar House elections supports the thesis that strategic political elites play a pivotal role in translating national conditions