Atlantic Forum: Whose Party is it Anyway? Intra-Party Politics in a Partisan Era

Project No.:



Mike Cowburn, M.A., John F. Kennedy Institute, FU Berlin


Thursday, November 3, 2022, 6 p.m.


Online via ClickMeeting, you can sign up here.

Target group:

A larger interested audience


Politikwissenschaft, TU Kaiserslautern

This event is being held with the kind support of the Federal Foreign Office.


The Democratic and Republican parties have increasingly coalesced around liberal and conservative identities and policy positions since the mid twentieth century. Yet, research suggests that in the past decade intra-party cleavages in both parties have become increasingly salient, with factions exerting significant influence over the policy direction and appeals of both major parties. This presentation identifies the concurrent trends between intra-party division within and partisan polarization between the two major parties and empirically demonstrates the presence of intra-party conflict in both parties. These intra-party differences remain prominent in 2022, influencing party positioning and shaping elite behavior and communication.


Mike Cowburn

is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the Graduate School of North American Studies of the Freie Universität Berlin. His research interests include political parties, intra-party factions, and candidate nomination systems. His thesis examines intra-party factions in recent congressional primary competitions and considers their contribution to trends of partisan polarization in Congress. Together with Rebecca Kerr he published “Inclusivity and Decentralisation of Candidate Selectorates: Factional Consequences for Centre - Left Parties in England, Germany, and the United States.” in Political Research Quarterly in 2022. You can learn more about his work and publications here.