Path: > PoliTxt Menu > Party Platforms
United States Party Platforms and Political Analysis
Kenneth Janda
What good are party platforms in the United States? Observers of American politics often smile and quip, "A party platforms is not something to stand on. It's something to run on." This dismisses the platform's role in U.S. politics too easily, for its planks are often fiercely debated at parties' presidential nominating conventions. Paul Allen Beck's Party Politics in America says:
approval is not always proforma, and the platform has occasioned some spirited convention battles because many of the delegates care deeply about the construction of the party's one statement of what it stands for. . . .Vague or artful as the platforms may be in their attempts to satisfy multiple interests and constituencies, they do define the issue, even philosophical, differences between the parties. (1997: 233-234)

This website aims to promote studying party platforms through systematic content analysis. Choose topics to explore by clicking on entries below.


Studies on content analysis of party platforms


Links to websites on comparative analysis of European party manifestos


Statistics on US party platforms over time

Texts of U.S. party platforms 1840-2012