Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-jxkh9 Total loading time: 0.433 Render date: 2023-01-29T09:10:23.522Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The Party in Time

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2015

Abstract

Trends of falling membership and support spell a time of crisis for political parties, possibly of transformation. Dilemmas of principle arise: should partisans revise their normative commitments in whatever way garners new supporters, or would that be to sell their party’s soul? This article investigates this as a problem of intergenerational obligation, examining what consideration (if any) partisans owe their party’s past and future. It seeks to show the limits of conceiving partisanship as a ‘presentist’ activity that is legitimately governed exclusively by the concerns of the present generation, and argues that it must include some notion of showing loyalty to the actions of predecessors and advancing the prospects of those to come. Two corresponding norms of ethical partisanship – fidelity and sustainability – are outlined and discussed. The article’s goal is to refine our concept of what a party is, and in so doing contribute to a broader ethics of activism.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science (email: j.p.white@lse.ac.uk). The article significantly benefitted from the feedback of Geoff Brennan, John Dryzek, Dimitris Efthymiou, Nic Southwood, Fabio Wolkenstein and Lea Ypi, as well as participants of the Moral, Social and Political Theory Seminar at the Australian National University (ANU), four referees of this journal and its editor. The research was facilitated by a visiting fellowship at ANU’s School of Philosophy and a fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin funded by the EURIAS programme.

References

Bonotti, Matteo. 2012. Partisanship and Political Obligation. Politics 32 (3):153161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brown, Archibald. 2014. The Myth of the Strong Leader. London: Bodley Head.Google Scholar
Bruter, Michael, and Harrison, Sarah. 2009. The Future of Our Democracies: Young Party Members in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cronin, James E. 2004. New Labour’s Pasts: The Labour Party and its Discontents. Edinburgh: Pearson.Google Scholar
Crosland, Anthony. 1956. The Future of Socialism. London: Cape.Google Scholar
Dalton, Russell J., and Wattenberg, Martin P.. 2000. Parties Without Partisans. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Downs, Anthony. 1957a. An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy. Journal of Political Economy 65 (2):135150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Downs, Anthony. 1957b. An Economic Theory of Democracy. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
Enyedi, Zsolt. 2005. The Role of Agency in Cleavage Formation. European Journal of Political Research 44 (5):697720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feinberg, Joel. 1980. Rights, Justice and the Bounds of Liberty: Essays in Social Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freeden, Michael. 1996. Ideologies and Political Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gosseries, Axel, and Meyer, Lukas H.. 2009. Intergenerational Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hirschman, Albert O. 1970. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Horton, John. 2010. Political Obligation. Basingstoke: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hume, David. 1998 [1748]. Of the Parties of Great Britain. In Political Essays, edited by Knud Haakonssen, 4045. Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar
Jefferson, Thomas. 1975. Letter to James Madison (6 Sept. 1789). In The Portable Thomas Jefferson, edited by Merrill D. Peterson, 444451. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
Jones, Tudor. 2005. Remaking the Labour Party: From Gaitskell to Blair. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Katz, Richard, and Mair, Peter. 2009. The Cartel Party Thesis. Perspectives on Politics 7 (4):753766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kenny, Michael, and Smith, Martin J.. 1997. Discourses of Modernization: Gaitskill, Blair and the Reform of Clause IV. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 7 (1):110126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
King, Anthony, ed. 2002. Leaders’ Personalities and the Outcomes of Democratic Elections. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klosko, George. 2005. Political Obligations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lösche, Peter, and Walter, Franz. 1992. Die SPD. Klassenpartei, Volkspartei, Quotenpartei: Zur Entwicklung der Sozialdemokratie von Weimar bis zur deutschen Vereinigung. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.Google Scholar
May, John D. 1973. Opinion Structure of Political Parties: The Special Law of Curvilinear Disparity. Political Studies 21 (2):135151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAllister, Ian. 2007. The Personalisation of Politics. In Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour, edited by Russell J. Dalton and Hans‐Dieter Klingemann, 571588. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
McAnulla, Stuart. 2011. Post-Political Poisons? Evaluating the ‘Toxic’ Dimensions of Tony Blair’s Leadership. Representation 47 (3):251263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meyer, Lukas H. 1997. More Than They Have a Right to: Future People and our Future-Oriented Projects. In Contingent Future Persons: On the Ethics of Deciding Who Will Live, or Not, in the Future, edited by Nick Fotion and Jan C. Heller, 137156. London: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michels, Robert. 1959 [1915]. Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy. New York: Dover.Google Scholar
Miliband, Ed. 2010. Dear Lib Dem Voter. The Guardian, 23 August. Available from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/23/dear-lib-dem-voter, accessed 31 August 2013.Google Scholar
Muirhead, Russell. 2006. A Defence of Party Spirit. Perspectives on Politics 4 (4):713727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muirhead, Russell. 2014. The Promise of Party in a Polarized Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñiz-Fraticelli, Víctor M. 2009. The Problem of a Perpetual Constitution. In Intergenerational Justice, edited by Axel Gosseries and Lukas Meyer, 377410. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nation, The . 2002. ‘Political Cross-Dressing’, 22 July. Available from http://www.thenation.com/article/political-cross-dressing#, accessed 21 April 2015.Google Scholar
O’Neill, John. 1993. Future Generations, Present Harms. Philosophy 68 (263):3551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parfit, Derek. 1984. Reasons and Persons. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
Pitcher, George. 1984. The Misfortunes of the Dead. American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (2):183188.Google Scholar
Portis, Edward, Gundersen, Adolf, and Shively, Ruth, eds. 2000. Political Theory and Partisan Politics. Albany, NY: State University of New York.Google Scholar
Potthoff, Heinrich, and Miller, Susanne. 2002. Kleine Geschichte der SPD 1848–2002. Bonn: Dietz.Google Scholar
Riddell, Peter. 1997. The End of Clause IV, 1994-95. Contemporary British History 11 (2):2449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ridge, Michael. 2003. Giving the Dead their Due. Ethics 114 (1):3859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rosenblum, Nancy. 2008. On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Scheffler, Samuel. 1997. Relationships and Responsibilities. Philosophy & Public Affairs 26 (3):189209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seyd, Patrick, and Whiteley, Paul. 1992. Labour’s Grass Roots. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
Simmel, Georg. 1904. The Sociology of Conflict: I. American Journal of Sociology 9 (4):490525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simmons, A. John. 1979. Moral Principles and Political Obligations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Simmons, A. John. 1996. Associative Political Obligations. Ethics 106 (2):247273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, Rodney, and Gauja, Anika. 2010. Understanding Party Constitutions as Responses to Specific Challenges. Party Politics 16:755775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tamir, Yael. 1993. Liberal Nationalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Teorell, Jan. 1999. A Deliberative Defence of Intra-Party Democracy. Party Politics 5:363382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, Janna. 2002. Taking Responsibility for the Past. Reparation and Historical Injustice. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
Ware, Alan. 1996. Political Parties and Party Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Weltman, David, and Billig, Michael. 2001. The Political Psychology of Contemporary Anti-Politics: A Discursive Approach to the End-of-Ideology Era. Political Psychology 22 (2):367382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, Jonathan. 2009. The Social Theory of Mass Politics. Journal of Politics 7 (1):96112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, Jonathan. 2013. Left and Right in the Economic Crisis. Journal of Political Ideologies 18 (2):150170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, Jonathan. 2014. Transnational Partisanship: Idea and Practice. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (3):377400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, Jonathan. Forthcoming. Archiving for the Future: The Party Constitution. In Institutions for Future Generations, edited by Axel Gosseries and Iñigo Gonzalez. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
White, Jonathan, and Ypi, Lea. 2010. Rethinking the Modern Prince: Partisanship and the Democratic Ethos. Political Studies 58 (4):809828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, Jonathan, and Ypi, Lea. 2011. On Partisan Political Justification. American Political Science Review 105 (2):381396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whiteley, Paul, Seyd, Patrick, Richardson, Jeremy, and Bissell, Paul. 1994. Explaining Party Activism: The Case of the British Conservative Party. British Journal of Political Science 24 (1):7994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Young, Lisa, and Cross, William. 2002. Incentives to Membership in Canadian Political Parties. Political Research Quarterly 55 (3):547570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Party in Time
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Party in Time
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Party in Time
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *