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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Political parties are closely associated with pivotal turning points in American political development. Surprisingly little attention, however, has been given to how the parties, themselves, change over time. Whether they are conceptualized as formal organizations or as networks of groups, studying parties from a historical-institutional perspective directs attention to their structural arrangements and the processes through which those arrangements change. Identifying mechanisms of change and specifying the conditions under which different types of change may occur, the historical-institutional approach promises to elucidate the relationship between party change and political change more broadly.

Keywords: political parties, historical institutionalism, American political development, organizations, networks

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