Abstract and Keywords
This article considers the quantitative methods in the study of political parties. It focuses on the most important methodological issues concerning the study of parties in V. O. Key's three main domains — in the government, as an organization, and in elections. The question of party cleavages and realignment is explored, emphasizing how this question bridges the three domains. The application of Social Networks Analysis in political science is in its infancy, but there are a number of scholars applying the method to political parties. The social networks theory of parties is nowhere near the level of rigor or predictive precision that the spatial voting theories of Congress have achieved. In general, the four areas of parties research nicely show several important problems in the study of parties.
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