Edwards, Erica. (2007) United We Stand? Examining Dissent within Political Parties on Issues of European Integration. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. This article fills a lacuna in the scholarly literature and refines previous work on party positioning by investigating the relatively unexplored issue of intra-party dissent. More specifically, I consider the following questions: what are the nature and causes of intra-party dissent on European issues, and how can we explain the variability of this dissent across countries and across parties? In addressing these questions, the study makes several key contributions. First, it compiles data from a series of expert surveys to develop a quantitative measure of dissent within political parties on EU-related matters spanning from 1984 to 2002 (Ray, 1999a; Marks and Steenbergen, 1999; Hooghe et al., 2006). Second, it demonstrates that there is large variation in intra-party dissent across parties and that this dissent has increased since the 1980s. And finally, the articles provides a model to account for this variation. I conclude that three factors -- type of electoral system, changes in party position on the EU, and a party's historical legacies and programmatic commitments -- all have a bearing on the degree of dissent that a political party is likely to experience. The paper develops as follows. I begin in section two with a discussion of how to effectively quantify internal dissent at the party leadership level and proceed to introduce a cross-national measure of intra-party dissent on European integration spanning form 1984-2002. Next, I offer an overview of variation in intra-party dissent, demonstrating that there is considerable variation at the country and party levels. In the following step, I elaborate four plausible explanations of internal dissent. I present the data and statistical method used to analyse internal party dissent in section five, while the sixth step considers the results from the empirical analysis. Finally, I conclude by draing out the implications of these findings for future research on the subject.
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