Crisis! When Political Parties Lose the Consent to Rule, Cedric de Leon
Cedric de Leon’s book explains in compelling detail how political parties lose the consent to govern. Using comparative historical case studies and empirical evidence, he makes timely comparisons between the fracturing of political parties during the 1840s and 1850s in the lead-up to the United States’ secession crisis and contemporary American politics. He shows how political parties play a role in facilitating stable political regimes, as well as upending them, and explains what leads the public to abandon the political establishment. Crisis! serves as a cautionary tale for those looking to understand how the United States might emerge from its current moment of division after the election of Donald Trump.
Unexpected challenge, defection, failed reabsorption, and a crisis of hegemony: this is the process through which parties lose their consent to govern. A challenge to the status quo prompts defection. Without a defection, the political establishment would not need to reabsorb any defection. Finally, failed reabsorption is necessary for a crisis of hegemony; an establishment political party that successfully reabsorbs defectors ultimately regains the consent to govern.
Comparing the defeat of two establishment candidates—Martin Van Buren
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