Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hizbullah and Maurice Duverger

I was reading the Open Letter of Hizbullah from 1985 to compare to the new Political Document of the Party. It struck me that the distinction by Maurice Duverger in his study of political parties applies here. (Why is Duverger not more widely known in political science circles? Aside from his study of political parties, I find his 1964 introductory study of politics to be the best introductory text of political science there is. I also like how he writes.) So in his study of political parties, Duverger distinguishes between missionary parties and broker parties: to him, missionary parties care about winning hard core, members. While broker parties only care about winning elections and not care about having members at all (thus we don't talk about card carrying members of the two parties here in the US who have voters but not members). So using that distinction, we can say that Hizbullah went from being a missionary party to become a broker party. Hizbullah is no more looking for new members. If anything, it may suffer from having more members than it needs. Oh, good morning to you all.