Agreement, Loyalty, and Discipline: A Sequential Approach to Party Unity

Cynthia M. C. van Vonno, Reut Itzkovitch Malka, Sam Depauw, Reuven Y. Hazan, Rudy B. Andeweg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


One of the important characteristics (or consequences) of partisan representation is party unity on recorded votes in parliament. This chapter explores how this unity can be achieved. It suggests a sequential model that also creates a greater conceptual clarity. Party agreement is the situation in which MPs toe the party line because they simply agree with their party’s position. Party loyalty comes about when MPs believe that party unity is important for parliamentary government. Party discipline means following a logic of consequententiality, that is, MPs vote with the party because they want to avoid possible sanctions in case of dissent. Party agreement is the most important pathway to party unity. But party agreement, loyalty, and discipline are all affected by the institutional context.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationRepresenting the People
Subtitle of host publicationA Survey Among Members of Statewide and Substate Parliaments
EditorsKris Deschouwer, Sam Depauw
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780191765025
ISBN (Print) 9780199684533
StatePublished - 2014

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