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Article
Listening to the Coalition Merchants: Measuring the Intellectual Influence of Academic Scribblers
The Forum (2012)
  • Hans Noel, Georgetown University
Abstract
Following Converse's advice that ideology is the product of a ``creative synthesis," conducted by a narrow group of intellectuals, this paper reports on attempts to study ideology at its point of creation. I develop a measure of ideology expressed among pundits, based on coded opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers from 1830 to 1990. I use this measure to test the impact of ideas on party coalitions. I argue that ideologies, as created by intellectuals, strongly influence the coalitions that party leaders advance. In three cases – the realignment on slavery before the Civil War, the Civil Rights realignment in the mid-20th century, and the party change on abortion more recently – there is evidence that intellectuals reorganize the issues before parties realign around them. This evidence suggests that the patterns of ``what goes with what" that intellectuals design have an impact on the nature of political cleavages.
Keywords
  • ideology,
  • parties,
  • intellectuals,
  • coalitions,
  • scaling
Publication Date
February 24, 2012
Citation Information
Hans Noel. "Listening to the Coalition Merchants: Measuring the Intellectual Influence of Academic Scribblers" The Forum Vol. 5 Iss. 3 (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/hans_noel/4/