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The Dynamics of Two-Party PoliticsParty Structures and the Management of Competition$
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Alan Ware

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564439.001.0001

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The Logic of Party Fusion

The Logic of Party Fusion

(p.83) 5 The Logic of Party Fusion
The Dynamics of Two-Party Politics

Alan Ware (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This examines the logic of coalition building by major parties in two-party systems. In theory there should be a strong incentive for parties to seek to merge, either temporarily or permanently, with minor parties that are competitors for their own potential voters. This is because winning is the only goal for such a party, and that normally involves vote maximization. However, there are a number of factors that make coalitions between parties difficult to form, including differing perceptions as to the value each partner brings to an alliance, imperfect information and different attitudes to risk, and different interests in relation to alliance among different territorial units of a party. The chapter uses hypothetical examples to illustrate why the party imperative to create a winning coalition is likely to be frustrated by such factors, making alliances difficult to form.

Keywords:   party strategies, coalitions, fusion, alliances, mergers, leadership

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