By Mark P. Jones In January 1992, bitter enemies on El Salvador's left and right met in a colonial era castle in Mexico City, shook hands and brought an end to a 12-year-long civil war that had claimed 75,000 lives and displaced one-fifth of El Salvador's population. Today, 25 years later, the right and left remain starkly divided in El Salvador, and the country is among the … [Read more...] about A Strong Party System and Peace in El Salvador
Since the first exchange of a drachma for a vote in Athens more than two-and-a-half thousand years ago, politicians have practiced the well-honed, if crude, art of vote buying. Today their inducements range from liquor, gas and cash in the United States to cash, grain, and washing machines in large parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Yet vote buying is not … [Read more...] about Why Do Politicians Buy Votes?
Primary elections in the United States this year have sent the party system careening towards a divisive and potentially explosive moment. Never in modern US history have party voters chosen as their presidential candidate someone so totally at odds with party orthodoxy on issues ranging from trade to immigration as Donald Trump. Nor has a presidential candidate been so shunned … [Read more...] about Parties Crumble, Populists Rise
In the decades-long effort to make civil service bureaucracies more professional, civic coalitions have mobilized; business associations applied pressure; and international development agencies invested huge sums of money. Yet reform has frequently proved elusive. Instead, party-political rather than merit criteria reign in the hiring, promotion and firing of public employees. … [Read more...] about Reforming the Civil Service to Win Elections
For decades, analysis of political parties around the world focused on where they stood on the role of the state versus the markets in the economy; the need for high or low taxes; and the advantages or disadvantages of social-welfare spending. It focused, in other words, on the position of parties on the ideological spectrum of left to right. More recent analysis, however, … [Read more...] about Reform and the Power of Party Platforms