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Leading the Party: Coordination, Direction, and Communication

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  • DEWAN, TORUN
  • MYATT, DAVID P.

Abstract

Party activists face a coordination problem: a critical mass (a barrier tocoordination) must advocate a single policy alternative if the party is tosucceed. The need for direction is the degree to which the merits of thealternatives respond to the underlying mood of the party. An individual'sability to assess the mood is his sense of direction. These factors combine toform an index of both the desirability and the feasibility of leadership: wecall this index Michels' Ratio. A sovereign party conference gives way toleadership by an individual or oligarchy if and only if Michels' Ratio issufficiently high. Leadership enhances the clarity of intra-partycommunication, but weakens the response of policy choices to the party'smood.
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Suggested Citation

  • Dewan, Torun & Myatt, David P., 2007. "Leading the Party: Coordination, Direction, and Communication," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(04), pages 827-845, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:04:p:827-845_07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2017. "Multicandidate elections: Aggregate uncertainty in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 132-150.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:102:y:2008:i:03:p:351-368_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 114-128.
    5. Laurent Bouton & Benjamin G. Ogden, 2017. "Ethical Voting in Multicandidate Elections," NBER Working Papers 23898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Javier Rivas & Carmelo Rodríguez-Álvarez, 2017. "Deliberation, Leadership and Information Aggregation," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(4), pages 395-429, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Mukand, Sharun; Majumdar, Sumon, 2010. "The Leader as Catalyst: On Mass Movements and the Mechanics of Institutional Change," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 08, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    9. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, January.
    10. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1248-1288, June.
    11. Dewan, Torun & Myatt, David P., 2008. "The Qualities of Leadership: Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(03), pages 351-368, August.
    12. Shapiro, Dmitry & Shi, Xianwen & Zillante, Artie, 2014. "Level-k reasoning in a generalized beauty contest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 308-329.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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