Path: Janda: Political Parties, Home Page > Part 1: Table of Contents > Chapter 7
Kenneth Janda, Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey (New York: The Free Press, 1980)
Chapter 7: Goal Orientation (pp. 78-90), this is p. 78
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ORGANIZATIONAL "GOALS" are notoriously difficult to conceptualize. Anderson states, "The concept of goal is one of the most universal, but also one of the most troublesome, notions in organizational analysis. It has received little systematic attention in the parties literature" (1968, p. 399). While lacking in conceptualizing party goals, the literature nevertheless prompts Riggs to observe, "Statements about party orientation often imply judgments about the 'goals' or 'objectives' of parties" (1968, p. 57). Dahl warns, "Although it is obvious that oppositions differ in their goals, it is exceedingly difficult to reduce differences in goals to a manageable analytical scheme." He proceeds to say that the basic problem is one of distinguishing between short-run and long-run goals. "I simply postulate that certain goals, whether long-run or short-run, public or private, are 'dominant' or 'controlling'; and I distinguish between (a) aims or goals and (b) strategies" (1966, p. 341).

Put another way, goals and strategies suggest "ends" and "means." According to Perrow, "Since there is only a relative distinction between means and ends and since, therefore, any end or goal can be seen as a means to another goal, one is free to enter the hierarchy of means and ends at any point" (1968, p. 305). Perrow points out that goal analysis depends on the purposes of the research and that one man's goal may be another man's means or strategy. For the purpose of the ICPP project, the primary interest is in the goal of placing avowed representatives in government positions. This goal can be pursued by means of different strategies, the three main ones being (1) competing openly with other parties through the electoral process to win government position; (2) disrupting, invalidating, or proscribing the activities of other parties so that government positions are won by fraud or default; and (3) operating outside the electoral process to place members in government positions through force or to induce governmental resignations and thus promote access to office.

The term "strategy" is often used loosely in political science, with the result that "strategy" and "tactics" are frequently juxtaposed and treated synonymously--especially in the parties literature. Both terms, of course, have military origins, with "tactics" referring to localized hostilities where adversaries are in contact and "strategy" to planning for the conduct of an entire campaign or war (Brodie 1968, p. 281). Military strategy can be viewed in relationship to the end goal of winning a war; party strategy can be viewed in relationship to the party's goal of placing its representatives in government positions. In their pure forms, the three main strategies for pursuing this goal distinguish among (1) competitive parties, (2) monopolistic or restrictive parties, and (3) subversive parties, although some parties may follow various mixes of the three forms.

Returning to the military analogy, we can view party tactics as the counterpart of military tactics. If military tactics refer to the activities of opposing armies engaged in localized hostilities, party tactics can be understood as the activities of parties seeking occupancy of political office. Just as military tactics need to be evaluated in the light of military strategy, party tactics must also be studied in the context of party strategy.

The distinction between strategy and tactics may be helped by introducing the notion of the breadth of a party's strategy. A competitive party that follows a narrow strategy (it might be called a narrowly oriented competitive party) limits its activities (tactics) to election campaigning. A monopolistic party that follows a narrow strategy limits its activities to repressing competition. A subversive party that follows a narrow strategy limits its activities to sabotage and disruption. In each case, the tactics employed are all directly related to the strategy. On the other hand, a broadly oriented party may employ a number of tactics (engage in a variety of activities) that are not directly related to the strategy. These indirect tactics might be used in support of two or even all three strategies.

In addition to scoring parties for reliance on each main strategy, we code them on a three-point scale for the amount of energy or attention they devote to various party activities, which are classified for their likely usage as direct tactics supporting a given strategy or as indirect tactics supporting more than one.

Basic Variable 6.00: Open Competition in the Electoral Process

Parties have been defined as organizations that pursue a goal of placing their avowed representatives in government positions. "Placing" should be broadly in-

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