Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

“Toward A More Responsible Two-Party System”: Political Science, Policy Science, or Pseudo-Science?*

  • Evron M. Kirkpatrick (a1)

Abstract

The 1950 Report of the APSA Committee on Political Parties, “Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System,” is relevant today to current problems of public policy and party reform and to the efforts of political scientists, as political scientists, to contribute to the resolution of these problems. This essay examines the Report from a policy science perspective.

The Report was explicitly therapeutic in aim. It defined health, diagnosed ills, and prescribed remedies for the American party system; through the remedies prescribed, the whole American political system was to be restored to health. The healthy democratic system was asserted to be one in which the two national parties were cohesive, disciplined, programmatic, and responsible; internally responsible to their members through primaries, caucuses and conventions, and externally responsible to the whole electorate for carrying out their programs. The programs of the two parties were to be clearly differentiated so as to provide the electorate a real choice. The ills of the Ameican system were said to be due to the failure of parties to have these characteristics. The prescription was recommendation for comprehensive reform.

Despite the special expertise of political scientists on such “constitutional” questions and the work of such distinguished predecessors as Wilson, Goodnow, Lowell, Ford, and Herring, the Report was both normatively and empirically deficient. Little attempt was made to clarify or justify norms or goals. Repeatedly, instrumental propositions linking proposed reforms to goals were based on inadequate evidence or no evidence at all. Even in 1950, evidence (not mentioned in the Report) was available that cast doubt on the Committee's description of the political world. Subsequent research has produced a rich body of literature making clear that much of the substance of the Report is simply mistaken.

The errors of the Report do not vitiate its goals; democratic potential is not revealed by democratic practices. But the errors drastically affect the utility of the Report as policy science. The failure of the Report as policy science is due, in part, to failures of the discipline to clarify the roles of political scientist as policy scientist, to explore adequately the problems of relating knowledge to goals, to pay appropriate attention to the development of political theory, and to develop intellectual tools more specifically suited to the tasks of policy science. The last half of the essay is devoted to an examination of these problems, concluding that the political scientist will succeed in being effective in the policy field just to the extent he succeeds at his own distinctive tasks, in sharpening his own tools, and in thoughtfully applying his special knowledge and skills.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All
*

Prepared for and presented at the Sixty-sixth Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, California, September 8–12, 1970.

Footnotes

References

Hide All

1 Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System: A Report of the Committee on Political Parties, American Political Science Association,” The American Political Science Review (Supplement: Vol. 44, September 1950, Number 3, Part 2). Hereafter, both in the text and in the notes, I refer to this document as the Report and, unless otherwise noted, all page numbers cited in the text refer to the Report. This Report can be obtained from Johnson Reprint Corp., 111 5th Ave., New York, New York 10003.

2 Eldersveld, Samuel J., Political Parties: A Behavioral Analysis (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1964), p 14. Eldersveld's study is an extremely important one for the subject matter of the Committee's Report. The tragedy is that it has not been replicated in dozens of other units of government here and abroad.

3 For an interesting discussion of this and other consequences of the responsible party doctrine, see Lindblom, Charles E., The Intelligence of Democracy (New York: The Free Press, 1965), Ch. 20.

4 See Ogden, Daniel M. Jr., “Party Theory and Political Reality Inside the Democratic Party” (Paper prepared for the 1960 Annual Meeting of the APSA in New York City. The paper may be obtained from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.)

5 Some examples are: Ranney, Austin and Kendall, Willmoore, Democracy and the Party System (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1956), Ch. 22; Goodman, William, The Two Party System in the United States (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand and Co., 1964), Ch. 25; Sindler, Allan P., Political Parties in the United States (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966), Ch. 5; Sorauf, Frank J., Political Parties in the American System (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1964), Ch. 9; Hinderaker, Ivan, Party Politics (New York: Holt, 1956); James, Judson L., American Political Parties: Potential and Performance (New York: Pegasus, 1969), Ch. 1, pp. 2628; James makes an interesting distinction between “party government” which he criticizes and “responsible parties” which he approves, pp. 28–32; Epstein, Leon, Political Parties in Western Democracies (New York: Praeger, 1967). Epstein's book is particularly valuable. He discusses most of the issues raised by the Report and provides comparative data, primarily U.S. and Britain but including a number of other countries. There are, of course, numerous other critics. I know of no major work that undertakes a defense of the Report but there are distinguished political scientists who support responsible party government and argue the case much more cogently than the Committee. These include Schattschneider, E. E., Party Government (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1942), The Struggle for Party Government (College Park, Md.: The University of Maryland Press, 1948), Burns, James McGregor, Congress on Trial (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1949), The Deadlock of Democracy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963), and Bailey, Stephen K., The Condition of our National Political Parties (New York: The Fund for the Republic, 1959). It is interesting that Surkin, Marvin and Wolfe, Alan (“The Political Dimension of American Political Science,” Acta Politico, 5 [October, 1969, p. 47]) describe the Committee Report as a turning point in American political science, presumably marking the transformation of political science from a “reformist” to a “conservative” orientation. They do not argue the case, however. For some excellent collections of articles that bear on various aspects of the Report, see Abbott, David W. and Rogowsky, Edward T., Political Parties, Leadership, Organization, Linkage (Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1971); Dreyer, Edward C. and Rosenbaum, Walter A., Political Opinion and Behavior: Essays and Studies (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1970); Irish, Marian D., Lineberry, Robert L. and Prothro, James W., Readings on the Politics of American Democracy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969); Crotty, William J., Freeman, Donald M., and Gatlin, Douglas S., Political Parties and Political Behavior (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1966); Crotty, William J., ed., Approaches to the Study of Party Organization (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1968); Herzberg, Donald G. and Pomper, Gerald M., American Party Politics: Essays and Readings (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966); Wright, William E., ed., Comparative Study of Party Organization (Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., 1971).

6 Epstein, op. cit., p. 269.

7 King, Anthony, “Political Parties in Western Democracies,” Polity, 2 (Winter, 1969), pp. 111141, esp. 135–137.

8 Reading Eldersveld's Political Parties is indispensable to judgment on this and a variety of other matters discussed in the Report. See, for example, his discussion of the ideological structure of the party, Ch. 8; of ideology and electoral behavior, Ch. 19; of the party as a decisional system, Ch. 15.

9 Lindblom, op. cit., p. 331. For the argument, see Chs. 9 and 10. Lindblom argues that the nature of complex decision making is such that “multiplicity of independent decision makers is itself a source of rationality” as is the form of their interaction. See also Davis, Otto A., Dempster, M. A. H. and Wildavsky, Aaron, “A Theory of the Budgetary Process,” American Politica Science Review, 60 (September, 1966), pp. 529547.

10 Epstein, op. cit., p. 262.

11 Dahl, Robert A., Pluralist Democracy in the United States (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1967), p. 370. Dahl's book is relevant to most of the matters raised in the Committee Report. Every practicing politician knows the truth of the proposition that “policy is the mother of dissension.”

12 Epstein, op. cit., Ch. 11.

13 See Schumpeter, Joseph, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1942), Part IV. Other critics include Mayo, Henry, An Introduction to Democratic Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960); Wilson, James Q., The Amateur Democrat: Club Politics in Three Cities (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962); Lipset, Seymour M., Political Man (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1960); Berelson, Bernardet al., Voting (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1954), Ch. 14; Dahl, Robert A., A Preface to Democratic Theory (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1956), Who Governs? (New Haven: The Yale University Press, 1961); Key, V. O., Public Opinion and American Democracy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961); and Almond, Gabriel and Verba, Sidney, The Civic Culture (Princeton: The Princeton University Press, 1963). In fact, most contemporary students of political parties and voting behavior have been critical of the APSA Committee's model.

14 The critics of the rational activist model of the Committee have their critics; see Davis, LaneThe Cost of the New Realism,” Western Political Quarterly, 17 (1964), pp. 3746 and Walker's, Jack L.A Critique of the Elitist Theory of Democracy,” American Political Science Review, 60 (June, 1966), pp. 285295. Both of these articles are reprinted in Kariel's, HenryFrontiers of Democratic Theory (New York: Random House, 1970), pp. 213247. Kariel's book is the best collection of materials setting forth both points of view in this controversy, mainly a difference between descriptive and normative viewpoints.

15 The failure of the Committee to take note of the group theories of politics is significant and shows to what extent the Report constituted advocacy without even a token attempt to present both sides. As noted elsewhere, Herring's, PendletonThe Politics of Democracy (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1940) had appeared ten years before the Committee Report and had been well received. The work of Bentley, Arthur, The Process of Government (Bloomington, Ind.: The Principia Press, 1949) was certainly well known to most members of the Committee. Wallas, Graham published his Human Nature and Politics in the same year as the first edition of Bentley, (1908) and Lasswell's, HaroldPsychopathology and Politics was published in 1930 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1930). Further, Sigmund Freud, Walter Bagehot, Charles Merriam, and others had made clear the importance of the nonrational in behavior, including political behavior.

16 Lazarsfeld, Paul F., Berelson, Bernard R. and Gaudet, Hazel, The People's Choice: How the Voter Makes up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign (New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce, 1944); Berelson, Bernard R., Lazarsfeld, Paul F., and McPhee, William N., Voting (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954); Campbell, Angus, Gurin, G., and Miller, Warren, The Voter Decides (Evanston: Row, Peterson, 1954); Campbell, Angus, Converse, Philip E., Miller, Warren E., and Stokes, Donald, The American Voter (New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1960). For a brief summary of knowledge gained from survey research, see the excellent brief books by Flanigan, William H., Political Behavior of the American Electorate (Boston: Allyn Bacon, Inc., 1968) and Greenstein, Fred I., The American Party System and the American People (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1963) which summarize a considerable amount of survey and other relevant data. Also, see Wolfinger, Raymond E., “The Development and Persistence of Ethnic Voting,” American Political Science Review, 59 (December, 1965), pp. 896908.

17 Campbell, Converse, Miller and Stokes, op. cit., p. 121.

18 Sindler, , Political Parties in the United States (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966), p. 90.

19 In some democratic societies, notably nations noted for institutional fragility, party identifications may be less stable than ideological orientations. See Converse, Philip E. and Dupeux, George, “Politicization of the Electorate in France and in the United States” reprinted in Campbell, Angus, Gurin, Gerald, and Miller, Warren, Elections and the Political Order (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1966), pp. 269291. Also see Kirkpatrick, Jeane J., Leader and Vanguard in Mass Society: A Study of Peronist Argentina (Cambridge, Mass.: The M.I.T. Press, 1971).

20 Those who argue the case that voters are more “rational,” and that issues have greater salience than attributed to them by early SRC studies such as The American Voter and especially by Converse, Philip E., “The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics” in Ideology and Discontent, ed. Apter, David E. (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1964), pp. 238245, define “issue” not in programmatic terms but as broad orientations toward salient aspects of social and political life, e.g., RePass, David E., “Issue Salience and Party Choice,” American Political Science Review, 65 (June, 1971), pp. 389400 and Kovenock, David M., Beardsley, Philip L. and Prothro, James W., “Status, Party, Ideology, Issues and Candidate Choice: A Preliminary, Theory-Relevant Analysis of the 1968 American Presidential Election” (mimeographed paper prepared for the 8th World Congress of the International Political Science Association, Munich, Germany, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 1970). For an excellent discussion of the ambiguity of the concept of “political issue,” see Butler and Stokes, op. cit., pp. 174–175. Samuel Huntington has an interesting article, written in 1950, making a statistical analysis of “… quantitative and qualitative differences” between the two major parties. He found that “contrary to the traditional thesis, the quantitative differences between the parties tend to be inversely proportional to the qualitative differences between the parties;” A Revised Theory of American Party Politics,” American Political Science Review, 44 (September, 1950), pp. 669677.

21 Converse, Philip E., Miller, Warren E., Rusk, Jerrold G., and Wolfe, Arthur C., “Continuity and Change in American Politics: Parties and Issues in the 1968 Election,” American Political Science Review, 63 (December, 1969), p. 1092.

22 To the contrary, Almond and Verba, op. cit., p. 174, present evidence that Americans are among the most well informed of the five nations surveyed.

23 Lewis Lipsitz, “Forgotten Roots” in Kariel, op. cit., p. 403. This article argues the position, among others, that low information levels of the American poor constitute a failure of the system to “make democracy more meaningful” and that other interpretations constitute a failure of political scientists.

24 See Campbell, Converse, Miller and Stokes, op. cit.; Campbell, Gurin and Miller, op. cit. For a valuable discussion of the problem in Britain, see Butler, David and Stokes, Donald, Political Change in Britain: Forces Shaping Electoral Choice (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1969), Ch. 16 “Images of the Parties.”

25 A most effective argument—based on survey data—that voters perceive distinctive differences between the parties and make a rational choice in Key, V. O. Jr., (with the assistance of Cummings, Milton Jr.), The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting 1936–1960 (Cambridge: The Harvard University Press, 1966). For further emphasis on voters' rational guides to action see Goldberg, Arthur S.Social Determinism and Rationality as Bases of Party IdentificationAmerican Political Science Review, 63 (March, 1969), pp. 525. For a recent examination of the relation between issue saliency, party choice and voting behavior, see RePass, op. cit., and Kovenock, Beardsley and Prothro, op. cit.

26 McClosky, Herbert, Hoffman, Paul J. and O'Hara, Rosemary, “Issue Conflict and Consensus Among Party Leaders and Followers,” American Political Science Review, 54 (June, 1960), pp. 406427; Eldersveld, op. cit., Ch. 8.

27 Turner, Julius, Party and Constituency Pressure on Congress (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1951); Lockard, Duane, New England State Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959); and Congressional Quarterly Service, Congress and the Nation, 1945–1964.

28 Crotty, William J., Freeman, Donald M. and Gatlin, Douglas S., Political Parties and Political Behayior (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1966), p. 453. Also, see MacRae, Duncan, Dimensions of Congressional Voting (Berkeley; University of California Press, 1958), Truman, David B., The Congressional Party (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1959) and Froman, Lewis A. Jr., “Inter-party Constituency Differences and Congressional Voting Behavior,” American Political Science Review, 57 (March, 1963), pp. 5761. Miller and Stokes, while rinding that constituency influences voting, comment that: “… no single tradition of representation fully accords with the realities of American legislative politics. The American System is a mixture, to which the Burkean, instructed delegate, and responsible party models all can be said to have contributed elements.” Miller, Warren E. and Stokes, Donald E., “Constituency Influence in Congress,” American Political Science Review, 57 (March, 1963), pp. 4556.

29 Having been a member of the Committee, I know that the British model was significant for a number of its members. The Committee emphasized that many “Americans have argued that something like the British system of responsible cabinet government would have to be grafted on to ours before an effective party system could come about in the United States.” The Report then noted that such a system made for responsibility and that parties “play a key role in it.” While rejecting outright adoption of the cabinet system by constitutional amendment, the Committee made clear that it thought most of the benefits could be gained by adaptation within the constitution and said that “It is logical first to find out what can be done under present conditions to invigorate the parties before accepting the conclusion that action has to begin with changing a constitutional system that did not contemplate the growing need for party responsibility when it was set up” (pp. 35–36, emphasis mine). Certainly the responsible parties system was widely considered to be the British system. This view was widespread enough for the Virginia Quarterly Review to publish David Butler's article, “American Myths about British Parties,” attacking the view that the British parties fitted the responsible parties model (Virginia Quarterly Review, 31 [Winter, 1955], pp. 4556).

30 The Politics of Democracy (W. W. Norton and Co., 1940), pp. 107116 passim.

31 Jennings, William Ivor, Cabinet Government (New York and Cambridge: The Macmillan Co., 1936), pp. 389390.

32 Butler, David E. and King, Anthony, The British General Election of 1964 (London: The Macmillan Co., 1965), p. 155. Also see Butler, David, The British General Election of 1951 (London: The Macmillan Co., 1952), The British General Election of 1955 (London: Macmillan Co., 1955); Butler, David and Rose, Richard, The British General Election of 1959 (London: The Macmillan Co., 1960). For an excellent recent discussion, Butler and Stokes, op. cit., especially Ch. 8, but also Chs. 9, 10, 15, 16.

33 See especially Beer, Samuel, British Politics in the Collectivist Age (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965). Also see Butler and Stokes, op. cit., Chs. 4, 5, 6, 7.

34 Notable among these is Almond and Verba, op. cit., which also explicitly relates its findings to the rational-activist model.

35 Pollock, James K., “British Party Organization,” Political Science Quarterly (June, 1930), p. 163, quoted in Herring, op. cit., p. 213.

36 For a valuable discussion of this point, see Epstein, op. cit., Ch. IX, “Program Policy and Organized Membership.” Epstein's book is the most valuable single reference for the problems discussed in Part I of this paper.

37 Epstein, op. cit., p. 314.

38 Ranney, Austin, Pathways to Parliament (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1965). This is the most exhaustive study of the nominating process in the U.K. Also see his “Central Guidance of Parliamentary Candidate Selection in Britain” paper delivered at the 6th IPSA Congress in Geneva, 1966; and Epstein, op. cit., Ch. VIII, “Candidate Selection.”

39 Epstein, Leon, “Cohesion of British Parliamentary Parties,” American Political Science Review, 50 (June, 1956), pp. 360377; and British Politics in the Suez Crisis (Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1964), Chs. 5 and 6. An excellent brief discussion of the problem is to be found in his Political Parties in Western Democracies, Ch. XII “The Governing Function.”

40 Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System: A CommentaryAmerican Political Science Review, 45 (June, 1951), pp. 488499.

41 Samuel J. Eldersveld, op. cit. It is very unfortunate that Eldersveld's excellent study has not been followed up by comparable studies of party organization in various jurisdictions. If it had, we would be able to say much more about most of the problems discussed in this paper. One of the major failures of American political science is the failure to replicate studies and develop knowledge that is cumulative.

42 King, Anthony, “Political Parties in Western Democracies: Some Skeptical Reflections,” Polity, 2 (Winter, 1969), pp. 111141.

43 Epstein, Leon, Political Parties, p. 8.

44 Allan P. Sindler, op. cit., p. 101.

45 The downgrading of parties is probably part and parcel of the rise of social determinism in political science. Incidentally, a good case can be made that it is social determinism rather than behavioralism that has encouraged an “all is probably for the best,” “conservative” attitude of much recent political science.

46 Leiserson, Avery, Parties and Politics: An Institutional and Behavioral Approach (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1958), p. 140, my emphasis. Leiserson's book is stimulating for all interested in a theory of parties.

47 Eldersveld, op. cit. pp. 7–12. This simplified and condensed statement of Eldersveld's outline of the structural properties of parties does not do it justice.

48 Eldersveld, op. cit., p. 4.

49 Eldersveld, op. cit., p. 12, my emphasis.

50 It is unfortunate, as I noted above, that we do not have more studies testing the Eldersveld model. We could then speak much more authoritatively about the relations of party organization to system characteristics.

51 Sartori, Giovanni, Democratic Theory (Detroit: The Wayne State University Press, 1962), pp. 237241.

52 Issues and Alternatives: A Study Guide of Democratic National Convention Procedure and Practice (Washington, D.C.: DNC, October, 1969). Also, see the memoranda “To All Concerned Democrats” sent out by O'Hara in 1970 and 1971.

53 Mandate for Reform (Washington, D.C.: DNC, April, 1970). For information on the Commission and its work, see Glass, Andrew J. and Cotlin, Jonathan, “Democrats Reform Drive Falters as Spotlight Shifts to Presidential Race,” National Journal, June 19, 1971. Austin Ranney, a member of the Commission, is now engaged in a study of the Commission's work and its effect on the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination.

54 For a most valuable examination of the early history of the debate, see Ranney, Austin, The Doctrine of Responsible Party Government (Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1968). For some of the relevant work referred to above, see Wilson, Woodrow, “Cabinet Government in the United States,” The International Review, 7 (August, 1879), pp. 146163; Committee or Cabinet Government,” Overland Monthly, Series 2, Vol. 3 (January, 1884), pp. 1733; Congressional Government (Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Co., 1885); Ford, Henry Jones, The Rise and Growth of American Politics (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1898) and his review of Goodnow's, Politics and Administration in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 16 (September, 1900), pp. 177188; Lowell, A. Lawrence, Essays on Government (Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Co., 1899); Governments and Parties in Continental Europe (Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Co., 1896); Public Opinion and Popular Government (New York: Longmans Green and Co., 1913); Goodnow, Frank J., Politics and Administration (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1900). For a full bibliography of Wilson, Ford, Lowell and Goodnow, see the Ranney volume cited above, pp. 165–172. Herring, Pendleton, The Politics of Democracy (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1940). Schattschneider, E. E., Party Government (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1942); The Struggle for Party Government (College Park, Md.: The University of Maryland Press, 1949); The Deadlock of Democracy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963). Bailey, Stephen K., The Condition of our National Parties (New York: The Fund for the Republic, 1959). Holcombe, Arthur N., Our More Perfect Union (Cambridge: The Harvard University Press, 1950). Eldersveld, Samuel J., Political Parties, A Behavioral Analysis (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1964). Ranney, Austin and Kendall, Willmoore, Democracy and the American Party System (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1956), Ch. 22. Sorauf, Frank J., Political Parties in the American System (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1964), Ch. 9. Goodman, William, The Two Party System in the United States (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand and Co., 1964), Ch. 25. Sindler, Allan P., Political Parties in the United States (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966), Ch. 5. Kendall, Willmoore and Carey, George, Liberalism Versus Conservatism (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand and Co., 1966), Ch. 4. Kendall, Willmoore, “The Two Majorities,” Midwest Journal of Politics, 4 (November, 1960), pp. 317345. Banfield, Edward C., “In Defense of the American Party System” in Political Parties, U.S.A., ed. Goldwin, Robert (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1964), pp. 2139. Wilson, James Q., The Amateur Democrat: Club Politics in Three Cities (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962). For an interesting follow up on Wilson's book, see Soule, John W. and Clarke, James W., “Amateurs and Professionals: A Study of Delegates to the 1968 Democratic National ConventionAmerican Political Science Review, 64 (September, 1970), pp. 888898. McClosky, HerbertAre Political Conventions NondemocraticThe New York Times Magazine, August 4, 1968, pp. 10–11, 6268. Epstein, Leon D., Political Parties in Western Democracies (New York: Praeger, 1967). O'Hara Commission, Issues and Alternatives: A Study Guide of the Democratic National Convention Procedure and Practice (Washington, D.C.: The Democratic National Committee, October, 1969); McGovern Commission, Mandate for Reform (Washington, D.C.: The Democratic National Committee, April, 1970).

55 For an excellent discussion of the difference between “constitutional” policy and policy in other areas, see the essay by Salisbury, Robert H., “The Analysis of Public Policy: A Search for Theories and Roles” in Ranney, Austin, Political Science and Public Policy (Chicago: Markham Publishing Co., 1968), Ch. 7.

56 See the Preface to the Rules Commission document cited above and the appendix setting forth the origin and mandate of the Commission on Party Structure and Delegate Selection in Mandate for Reform, pp. 52–53.

57 American Political Science Review, 63 (December, 1969), p. 1060. Reprinted in the second edition of The Political System: An Inquiry into the State of Political Science (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), pp. 344345.

58 Data collected for the last biographic directory of APSA show that approximately 10 percent of those returning questionnaires had run for office; about one-half of those who ran were elected.

59 At least one former president of the Association, a strong supporter and contributor to the 1964 Democratic ticket, refused to sign the endorsement on the grounds that it was improper to issue such an endorsement as former presidents of APSA. In the spring of 1970, the President, President-Elect and six former presidents of APSA sent Nixon a telegram advising him on Vietnam policy and issued a press release about it. They did so as political scientists and identified their official relation to the Association. A week later, seven of the eight issued a press release, on a poll taken of a sample of APSA membership, reporting political scientists” views about Vietnam. Both are printed in the American Political Science Review, 64 (June, 1970), pp. 589590.

60 Almond, Gabriel in Pool, Ithiel de Sola, ed., Contemporary Political Science: Toward Empirical Theory (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1967), p. 18.

61 In Pool, op. cit., p. 179.

62 In Pool, op. cit., pp. 207–221.

63 In Pool, op. cit., Ch. 9.

64 In Pool, op. cit., pp. xii–xiii.

65 Lasswell, Harold D., Power and Personality (New York: W. W. Norton, 1948), p. 9.

66 Lasswell, , Power and Personality, p. 122.

67 Lerner, Daniel and Lasswell, Harold D. (Eds.), The Policy Sciences (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951), pp. 7, 8 and 14.

68 Lasswell, , Power and Personality, pp. 201204. Also see the valuable and stimulating article by Eulau, Heinz, “H. D. Lasswell's Developmental Analysis” included in Eulau's, volume of essays, Micro-Macro Political Analysis (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co., 1969).

69 Price, Don K., The Scientific Estate (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), pp. 122135.

70 Ranney, , Political Science and Public Policy, p. 5.

71 Eulau, Heinz and March, James G., eds., Political Science (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969), p. 43. This book is one of a series prepared in connection with the Survey of the Behavioral and Social Sciences conducted under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and the Social Science Research Council.

72 Obviously this view that the political scientist is “free” to choose a role of policy participant or observer differs importantly from Easton's assertion (and that of the New Left) that engagement is imperative and that “Reform becomes inseparable from knowledge.” Easton, American Political Science Review, op. cit., p. 1060, and The Political System, (2nd Edition) p. 344.

73 Surkin, Marvin and Wolfe, Alan, “The Political Dimension of American Political Science, Acta Politica, 5 (October, 1969), pp. 5354.

74 For excellent discussions of many problems of the policy sciences, see Policy Sciences: An International Journal which began publication in the Spring of 1970; also see Dror, Yehezkel, Public Policy Making Reexamined (San Francisco: Chandler, 1968) and Lindblom, Charles E., The Policy Making Process (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968). For an excellent collection of studies, see Sharkansky, Ira, ed., Policy Analysis in Political Science (Chicago: Markham Publishing Co., 1970); Sharkansky's opening essay on “The Political Scientist and Policy Analysis” summarizes the contents and sets forth the important problems. Also, see Knowledge Into Action: Improving the Nation's Use of the Social Sciences (Washington: National Science Foundation, 1969); The Behavioral Sciences and the Federal Government (Washington: National Academy of Sciences, 1968); The Behavioral Sciences; Outlook and Needs (Washington: National Academy of Sciences, 1969); The Use of Social Research in Federal Domestic Programs (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1967). This study, in four volumes, was done for the Research and Technical Programs Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations. An earlier report of interest is Effective Use of Social Science Research in the Federal Service (New York: The Russell Sage Foundation, 1950). For an extensive bibliography, see Knezo, Genevieve Johanna, The Social Sciences and Public Policy (Washington: Legislative Reference Service, June, 1970).

75 While our knowledge is greater today, we have failed to make our research adequately cumulative and we have failed to test many suggestive hypotheses. For a recent statement on what we do not know about parties, see King, Anthony, “Political Parties in Western Democracies,” pp. 111141.

76 Schattschneider's own work in the parties field is distinguished, and I know that there were aspects of the Report with which he disagreed. Earlier, Henry Jones Ford had taken a view quite different from that of the Committee on the question of intraparty democracy and he was vigorously opposed to the direct primary, though he advocated party responsibility; see Ford's, article on “The Direct Primary,” North American Review (July, 1909), pp. 114.

77 American Political Science Review, 45 (March, 1951), pp. 143152.

78 New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1940.

79 Herring's book enjoys so much esteem that it has recently been reissued.

80 In Defense of the American Party System,” New York Times Magazine (July 18, 1948, pp. 5 and following). For further defense of the system in recent years, see Banfield, Edward C.In Defense of the American Party System” in Goldwin, Robert, Political Parties, U.S.A. (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1964), pp. 2139; Wilson, James Q., The Amateur Democrat: Club Politics in Three Cities (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962); McClosky, HerbertAre Political Conventions Nondemocratic,” The New York Times Magazine (August 4, 1968), pp. 10–11, 6268; Wildavsky, Aaron, “On the Superiority of National Conventions,” Review of Politics, 24 (July, 1962), pp. 307319; Bunzel, John H., Anti Politics in America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967).

81 The Report is both far less scholarly and far less effective than the writing of individual scholars who have argued for the same or similar reforms. For example, Schattschneider's Party Government is an interesting and extremely influential book, a classic in the field. Other individual scholars who have argued the same case well include James M. Burns and Stephen K. Bailey. See: Schattschneider, E. E., Party Government (New York: Rinehart and Co., 1942), Burns, James McGregor, The Deadlock of Democracy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963), and Bailey, Stephen K., The Condition of Our National Parties (New York: The Fund for the Republic, 1959).

82 For one of Lasswell's most recent articles on the decision seminar, see The Continuing Decision Seminar as a Technique of Instruction,” Policy Sciences: An International Journal, 2 (March, 1971), pp. 4357.

83 See the very interesting article by Braybrooke, David, “The Relevance of Norms to Political Description,” American Political Science Review, 52 (December, 1958), pp. 9891006.

84 For an excellent discussion of this point see Giovanni Sartori, Democratic Theory, Ch. 1.

85 Lasswell, Harold D., “World Organization and Society” in Lerner, Daniel and Lasswell, Harold D., The Policy Sciences (Stanford: The Stanford University Press, 1951), p. 102. Also, see Lasswell, Harold D., Power and Personality, pp. 1619, and Politics: Who Gels What, When, How (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936).

86 Banfield makes the same point in his defense of the American party system. He points out that the APSA Committee, like Duverger subsequently, considered the party organization “archaic” and “undemocratic.” The Committee said, in effect, that American parties bad not kept up with the changing times. See Edward C. Banfield, “In Defense of the American Party System.” Banfield makes the point that the critics do not ask whether the party system produces and maintains a good society, they do not evaluate it on the basis of results. This is true of the APSA Committee, though the Committee asserted that the system would not be able to do a good job “in an era beset with problems of unprecedented magnitude at home and abroad….” The Committee made no effort to demonstrate the inadequacies of the parties but asserted that they “have shown little propensity for evolving original or creative ideas about public policy” and have even “been rather sluggish in responding to such ideas in the public interest….” (The Report, p. 17 and p. 15).

87 Some studies that are relevant to this general discussion are: Dawson, Richard E. and Robinson, James A., “The Politics of Welfare” in Politics in the American States, eds. Jacob, Herbert and Vines, Kenneth N. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1965), Ch. 10; Dye, Thomas R., “Malapportionment and Public Policy in the States,” The Journal of Politics, 27 (August, 1965), pp. 586601; Hofferbert, Richard I., “The Relationship Between Public Policy and Some Structural Variables in the American States,” American Political Science Review, 60 (March, 1966), pp. 7382; Rae, Douglas W., The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967); Dye, Thomas R., Politics, Economics and the Public: Policy Outcomes in American States (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1966); Davis, Otto A., Dempster, M. A. H., and Wildavsky, Aaron, “A Theory of the Budgetary Process,” American Political Science Review, 60 (September, 1966), pp. 529547; Cutwright, Phillips, “Political Structure, Economic Development and National Security Programs,” American Journal of Sociology, 70 (March, 1965), pp. 537551; Sharkansky, Policy Analysis in Political Science. In a recent study, Sharkansky, Ira and Hofferbert, Richard I., “Discussions of State Politics, Economics, and Public Policy,” American Political Science Review, 63 (September, 1969), pp. 867879, the authors assert that until recently the answer was “yes” to the question “Do state political systems leave a distinctive imprint on patterns of public policy?” but that “More recent research has led to a qualified but increasingly confident ‘no’.” Closely related and valuable for policy analysis are: Braybrooke, David and Lindblom, Charles E., A Strategy of Decision: Policy Evaluation as a Social Process (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1963) and Lindblom, Charles E., The Intelligence of Democracy: Decision Making Through Mutual Adjustment (New York: The Free Press, 1965); in Chapter 20, Lindblom—applying his analysis of decision making through mutual adjustment to the question of party discipline—concludes that “certain ubiquitous forms of non-central decision making and coordination are useful and undervalued procedures” and “are powerful instruments for intelligent policy making….” As Lindblom makes clear, we need much further work in this area.

88 An interesting discussion of the problems of evaluating political systems and the inadequacies of political science for doing so is: Robert A. Dahl, “The Evaluation of Political Systems” in Ithiel de Sola Pool, Contemporary Political Science: Toward Empirical Theory, Ch. 5. This whole volume is important to anyone interested in the questions I have discussed.

89 de Jouvenel, Bertrand, The Art of Conjecture (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1967). See also Heinz Eulau's excellent essay “H. D. Lasswell's Developmental Analysis” for a short description of developmental analysis and the developmental construct and their importance to political science: Eulau, Micro-Macro Political Analysis, Ch. 4. The magazine Policy Sciences is now providing a valuable forum for discussion of these problems.

90 Lasswell, Harold D., Power and Personality, p. 204.

91 Ogden's paper was prepared for the Annual Meeting of the APSA in New York in 1960 and may be obtained from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

92 The two essays are reprinted in Gerth, H. H. and Mills, C. Wright, From Max Weber, Essays in Sociology (Fairlawn, N.J.: Oxford University Press, 1946). Also see the stimulating article by Harry Eckstein, which discusses Weber at length: “Political Science and Public Policy” in Ithiel de Sola Pool, Contemporary Political Science, Ch. 5; and the stimulating article by MacRae, Duncan Jr., “Scientific Communication, Ethical Argument and Public Policy,” American Political Science Review, 65 (March, 1971), pp. 3850.

93 In Pool, op. cit., p. 57.

94 Harry Eckstein, in Pool, op. cit., p. 155.

* Prepared for and presented at the Sixty-sixth Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, California, September 8–12, 1970.

“Toward A More Responsible Two-Party System”: Political Science, Policy Science, or Pseudo-Science?*

  • Evron M. Kirkpatrick (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed