Statesmanship and Party Government
A Study of Burke and Bolingbroke
Mansfield points out that while parties have always existed, the party government that we know today is possible only because parties are now considered respectable. In Burke’s day, however, they were thought by detractors to be a cancer in a free polity. Even many supporters of the parties viewed them as a dangerous instrument, only to be used cautiously by statesmen in dire times. Burke, however, was an early champion of the party system in Britain and made his arguments with a clear-eyed realism. In Statesmanship and Party Government, Mansfield provides a skillful evaluation of Burke’s writings and sheds light present-day party politics through a profound understanding of the historical background of the their inception.