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Leading the Party: Coordination, Direction, and Communication

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  • David P. Myatt
  • Torun Dewan

Abstract

Party activists face a coordination problem: a critical mass (a barrier to coordination) must advocate a single policy alternative if the party is to succeed. The need for direction is the degree to which the merits of the alternatives respond to the underlying mood of the party. An individual`s ability to assess the mood is his sense of direction. These factors combine to form an index of both the desirability and the feasibility of leadership: we call this index Michels` Ratio. A sovereign party conference gives way to leadership by an individual or oligarchy if and only if Michels` Ratio is sufficiently high. Leadership enhances the clarity of intra-party communication, but weakens the response of policy choices to the party`s mood.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 280.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:280

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Keywords: Leadership; Direction; Coordination; Communication; Oligarchy;

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  1. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  2. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections With Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1560, David K. Levine.
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Cited by:
  1. Laurent Bouton, 2012. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-001, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael, 2008. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6695, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Torun Dewan & David P. Myatt, 2007. "The Qualities of Leadership:Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 24, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Junichiro Ishida & Takashi Shimizu, 2012. "Asking One Too Many? Why Leaders Need to Be Decisive," ISER Discussion Paper 0857, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  5. Dmitry Shapiro & Xianwen Shi & Artie Zillante, 2009. "Robustness of Level-k Reasoning in Generalized Beauty Contest Games," Working Papers tecipa-380, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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