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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 January 2009
In the study of contemporary American politics the phenomenon referred to as the “decline of party” has aroused considerable debate. Many writing on this subject maintain that American parties have been in a longterm and irreversible process of secular decline. Others hold that American parties have merely changed their role in the political system and although increasingly eliminated from presidential politics have developed considerably as national political organisations. This latter thesis has particular reference to the Republican party. The GOP has won four of the last five presidential elections, and has developed its national party organisation to a level of efficacy and sophistication unprecedented in American history.
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