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Title:

Voting behaviour

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Electoral system (strategic voting) Evaluations (issues, leaders, ideology, economy etc. ... Stability of voting patterns within individuals over time ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Voting behaviour


1
Voting behaviour
  • Empirical questions
  • What explains vote choices?
  • Socialisation/attachment
  • Social structure (class, religion etc.)
  • Electoral change (dealignment, realignment)
  • Electoral system (strategic voting)
  • Evaluations (issues, leaders, ideology, economy
    etc.)
  • What explains voting/non-voting?
  • Decline in turnout?
  • Paradox of turnout
  • Varying importance of elections
  • First/second-order closeness polarization

2
Voting
  • Collective decision-making procedure
  • Deliberation
  • Unanimity
  • Voting
  • Majority
  • Plurality
  • Proportionality
  • Democratic meaning of elections
  • Manifestation of general will (Rousseau)
  • Elite replacement (Schumpeter)

3
Historical roots of voting studies
  • Extension of franchise (early 20th century)
  • Predictions/expectations about working class
    parties
  • Data limitations
  • Electoral geography
  • Census data vs. electoral data
  • George Gallup (1901-1984)
  • Founder of American Institute of Public Opinion
    (1935)
  • Predicting correctly Roosevelt victory in 1936
  • Literary digest poll (2 million respondents)
    predicting Landon win
  • Gallup poll (5,000 respondents, random sample)
    predicting FDR win
  • FDR landslide, establishing Gallup, and the use
    of scientific polling in general, as a
    quasi-institution in US electoral politics

4
Studying the electoral process
  • Columbia voting studies
  • Lazarsfeld Berelson
  • The Peoples Choice (1948)
  • Voting (1954)
  • We were not interested in how people voted but
    in why they voted as they did.
  • Preference formation
  • Six-wave panel design
  • Studying influence of campaign and media
  • the social psychology of the voting decision
  • Stable preferences
  • Little knowledge, interest, few direct short-term
    effects
  • Mutually reinforcing social networks vs.
    cross-pressures

5
Party identification
  • The Michigan model
  • Campbell, Converse, Miller and Stokes, The
    American Voter (1960)
  • Socio-psychological model
  • Party identification
  • Long-term stable psychological affinity with
    either party
  • Analogy with religion (party believers)
  • Emotional/affective attachment, developed during
    socialisation
  • Picking up values and attitudes from parents,
    peers
  • Explanatory value
  • Stability of voting patterns within individuals
    over time
  • Issue alignment (partisan cues for perceptions
    and choice)
  • Potentially tautological

6
Political sociology
  • Social context
  • Beliefs, values, attitudes
  • Political behaviour (vote choice)
  • Group membership
  • Collective experience, attitude formation
  • Party mobilisation
  • Social cleavages
  • Dominant dividing lines in society

7
Social cleavages and voting
  • Seymour Martin Lipset Stein Rokkan
  • Party Systems and Voter Alignments (1967)
  • Historical macro-sociological approach
  • History of nation-building, industrialisation,
    democratisation
  • Varying traditional divisions across European
    societies
  • Center-periphery
  • Class
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Frozen party systems (1920s-1960s)
  • Stable patterns of party competition around
    salient primary cleavages
  • Class-voting (Britain, Germany), religious voting
    (France, Netherlands)
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