Presidential party building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush

Daniel J. Galvin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

57 Scopus citations


Modern presidents are usually depicted as party "predators" who neglect their parties, exploit them for personal advantage, or undercut their organizational capacities. Challenging this view, Presidential Party Building demonstrates that every Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower worked to build his party into a more durable political organization while every Democratic president refused to do the same. Yet whether they supported their party or stood in its way, each president contributed to the distinctive organizational trajectories taken by the two parties in the modern era. By comparing and contrasting Republican and Democratic presidents, and by crisply limiting the conceptualization of party-building to strengthening the party-as-organization, Galvin presents a startling contrast between the two parties and their presidents. . . . The spatial model and the convergence result of the median voter theorem naturally incline political scientists to assume that the major parties are inevitably organizationally symmetrical. They're not. Galvin conclusively shows that the assumption, while understandable, is false and has been false for many decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherPrinceton University Press
ISBN (Print)9780691136929
StatePublished - Sep 21 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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