Political Commitment and the Value of Partisanship

lea-ypiPolitical Commitment and the Value of Partisanship

Lea Ypi, London School of Economics and Political Science

This article defends the value of partisanship for political commitment. It clarifies what political commitment is, how it resembles and differs from other forms of commitment, and under what conditions it can prosper. It argues that political commitment is sustained and enhanced when agents devoted to particular political projects form a lasting associative relation that coordinates future action both on behalf of their future selves and of similarly committed others. Partisanship contributes to the feasibility of such projects, and helps strengthen them from a motivational and epistemic perspective. Although partisanship is also often criticized for sacrificing individuals’ independence of thought and action, if we value political commitment, this is a necessary trade-off. Read more.


American Political Science Review / Volume 110, Issue 3 August 2016, pp. 601-613