The United States: Divided Government and Divided Parties

  • R. S. Katz


Questions about the relations between a government and the party that supports it are unusual in the study of American politics. One reason is that the concepts involved, party and government, while central to the parliamentary model of party government characteristic of most western democracies, are foreign to the Madisonian model of liberal democracy around which American government is structured. In contrast to the strong parties and clear lines of authority in the party government model, the Madisonian model is hostile to cohesive parties and is founded on divided and overlapping authority. Most centrally, the independent election, fixed term, and extensive powers of the American president mean that American governments do not require a stable supporting coalition of the kind assumed by the conventional parliamentary model.


Presidential Candidate Mass Transit American Government Party Organization Committee Chair 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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  • R. S. Katz

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