The Politics of American Party Ideology Development

Lewis, Verlan, Government - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Aldrich, John, Department of Political Science, Duke University
Ceaser, James, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Milkis, Sidney, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Owen, John, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Prakash, Saikrishna, School of Law, University of Virginia

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.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
American politics, political theory, American political institutions, American political thought, American political development, American constitutional development, U.S. intellectual history, ideology, political parties, party ideologies, economic policy, foreign policy, judicial policy, presidency, Congress, Supreme Court
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