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Title: Interest Group Strategies and Party Position Change: The Case of Canadian Social Conservatives
Authors: Baisley, Katherine Elizabeth Ann
Advisors: Frymer, Paul
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: Canadian politics
Gender and politics
Interest groups
Political parties
Subjects: Canadian studies
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation explores the politics behind developing polarization on sexuality politics in Canada. I argue that interest groups played an underappreciated role in this transformation of the Canadian party system. More specifically, interest groups’ strategies were catalysts for the development of polarization: when some socially conservative interest groups became disheartened with traditional lobbying and began to work more within party politics, they began a chain of events that resulted in party position change and polarization. From this case, I develop a more general theory of the relationship between interest group strategies and party position change. I distinguish between what I call conversion strategies and replacement strategies. Conversion strategies aim to persuade or convert existing political actors to take the interest group’s position. Replacement strategies aim instead to replace unfavourable party personnel and policy statements with ones that are more favourable to the interest group. The distinction between conversion and replacement strategies is important, because these strategies can have very different political consequences. Unlike conversion strategies, replacement strategies narrow the range of responses available to party actors such that it is difficult to avoid party position change and polarization. Because replacement strategies are disruptive to the usual logic and norms of party politics, they demand a response. Some party responses (such as allowing replacement or doing nothing) move a party closer to an interest group’s position while other responses (such as guarding against or blocking replacement) move the party further away. This work contributes to scholarly debates about group-party interactions, polarization, and interest group politics.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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