Party Movements in the United States and Canada: Strategies of Persistence

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Party movements can be described as political organizations that both participate in the electoral process and have social movement qualities. They appear frequently in both Canada and the United States. Many of these movements face huge organizational problems, and yet they display remarkable resilience, signaling both continuing political dissatisfactions as well as possibilities for changing political outcomes. This book demonstrates how organizational theory can be useful for understanding party movements, and also expands on the idea of continuity, contributing new ways of thinking about how organizations change and survive in the face of recurring dilemmas. This look inside party movements, at the organizational problems they face and the strategies employed to deal with them, represents a new way of accounting for their history that contrasts with perspectives focusing solely on external conditions.

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Editorial Reviews

Barry G. Rabe
Party movements often demonstrate remarkable resilience despite difficult circumstances and poor prospects. Mildred Schwartz provides a penetrating analysis of a wide range of party movements and explains why and how they are able to endure in so many instances. She blends skillful analysis of a range of American and Canadian cases in guiding us into new and important scholarly territory.
David H. Knoke
Mildred Schwartz brilliantly dissects insurgencies inside political parties, applying organizational and social movement theories to explain their unresolved dilemmas, constant struggles, and remarkable resilience. Her skillful mining of historical events for their contemporary relevance makes this book the definitive investigation of party movements in the U.S. and Canada.
Jeffrey M. Ayres
Schwartz's study of the tenacity of party movements in Canada and the U.S. is a focused and thorough examination of the choices made by group actors as they seek to remain relevant and persist in otherwise often historically hostile institutional environments. This book builds on a lifetime of meticulous scholarship on political parties and social movements, and will be of benefit to students who draw comparisons between Canada and the U.S., as well as observers seeking conceptually generalizable insights into the complex and evolving relationship between protest groups and political institutions.
Joseph J. Galaskiewicz
Mildred Schwartz makes a powerful scholarly statement on the effects of tactics on party movements' persistence over time. A must read for students of U.S. and Canadian politics and social change.
John Thompson
Mildred Schwartz is the most thoughtful comparative scholar of the U.S. and Canada
David S. Meyer
Movements don't always end with a bang or a whimper. While it is tempting to call it an end when the peak of protest passes, Mildred Schwartz shows how social movements can continue to advance their struggle by becoming 'party movements' and seeking government office. The route through political institutions is not an easy one, and is marked with difficult dilemmas for activists. Schwartz shows how activists attempt to manage their ongoing campaigns, in and out of mainstream politics, over the long haul. Her account will be essential reading for people interested in parties or social movements, because she eliminates any facile distinctions between them.
Sylvia Bashevkin
Where do protest parties come from, and how do they fare over the longer term? Are these organizations closer to parties or social movements in character? Mildred Schwartz's study offers a fascinating comparative response to these questions, drawing in particular on American and Canadian examples.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mildred A. Schwartz is professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and visiting scholar in the Department of Sociology at New York University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Persisting Party Movements Chapter 3 Eight Settings for Party Movements Chapter 4 Dilemmas, Choices, and Constraints Chapter 5 Factions Chapter 6 Takeover Chapter 7 Purification Chapter 8 Mergers Chapter 9 Makeovers Chapter 10 Abeyance Chapter 11 When Party Movements Persist

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