Theories often explain intraparty competition based on electoral conditions and intraparty rules. This article further opens this black box by considering intraparty statements of preferences. In particular, it predicts that intraparty preference heterogeneity increases after electoral losses, but that candidates deviating from the party's median receive fewer intraparty votes. Party members grant candidates greater leeway to accommodate competing policy demands when in government. The study tests the hypotheses using a new database of party congress speeches from Germany and France, and uses automated text classification to estimate speakers' relative preferences. The results demonstrate that speeches at party meetings provide valuable insights into actors' preferences and intraparty politics. The article finds evidence of a complex relationship between the governing context, the economy and intraparty disagreement.
Recent advances to the theory of issue ownership suggest that voters change their impressions of parties' competencies in response to parties' experiences in government. We add that parties' evaluations depend on their success in fostering a cohesive image by managing diverse intra-party interests. We predict that voters' impressions of parties' internal discord negatively affect their assessments of parties' policy competencies. Furthermore, voters' choice of parties will also depend on perceptions of the parties' coherence and competence. Using individual-level analysis of party evaluations in Germany, we test predictions from our theory using a new survey that contains questions on parties' policy coherence and issue competence. The results hold important implications for the study of intra-party politics, issue competition and vote choice.
This volume explore the scope of existing governance indices and indicator frameworks, elaborates on current challenges in measuring and analysing governance, and offer recommendations on how to overcome them.