Party unity, or cohesion, is often emphasized by party leaders as essential for the party’s success. This emphasis on cohesion has concentrated power in the hands of party leaders, who have institutional and informal methods of effectively policing the party. This study aims to look at how party leaders respond to intraparty factionalism, meaning non-cohesive members of leaders’ own parties. This independent study identifies several tools party leaders have at their disposal: Campaigning and fundraising, procedural rules, committee assignments, and public messaging. The study then examines their effectiveness in two cases: the Tea Party Republicans and the Progressive Democrats. In both cases, there were signs of party leaders using tools that fall into these four categories, but some key differences that are best explained by the context of each case study. Understanding the tactics used by party leaders to curtail intraparty factions is key for those who both wish to understand the behaviors of party leaders, as well as faction members.


Lantis, Jeffery

Second Advisor

Valdez, John


Political Science


American Politics | Political Science


Party Leaders, Party Factions, Intraparty Conflict, Political Leadership

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2020 Alexander R. Hancock