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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.

Suggested Citation

  • David P. Myatt & Torun Dewan, 2006. "Leading the Party: Coordination, Direction, and Communication," Economics Series Working Papers 280, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:280
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Leadership; Direction; Coordination; Communication; Oligarchy;
    All these keywords.

    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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