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The Politics of American Party Ideology Development

Lewis, Verlan
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Lewis, Verlan
Ceaser, James
Owen, John
Prakash, Saikrishna
Milkis, Sidney
Aldrich, John
This dissertation makes two main contributions to our understanding of politics. First, it makes a conceptual and methodological contribution by showing how we can improve our understanding of political ideology by treating ideologies as endogenous political structures. Ideologies shape the behavior of political actors, but they are also transformed by political actors over time. Given the central place that ideology occupies in contemporary political science, this reconceptualization is important. Second, once we recognize that the content and meaning of ideologies are dynamic, this dissertation makes a theoretical and empirical contribution by positing and testing a theory to help explain how American party ideologies evolve over time. Adding to previous scholarship focused on society-centered factors, this theory considers a political factor: party control of government institutions. In three empirical chapters, this dissertation examines how party control of unified government influences change in party theories of economic intervention, how party control of the presidency influences change in party theories of foreign intervention, and how party control of the Supreme Court influences change in party theories of judicial intervention.
University of Virginia, Department of Politics, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2015
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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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