Autori: Kevin Smith, John R. Alford, Peter K. Hatemi, Lindon J. Eaves, Carolyn Funk, John R. Hibbing.
American Journal of Political Science 56(1), 17-33 (January 2012)
Evidence that political attitudes and behavior are in part biologically and even genetically instantiated is much discussed in political science of late. Yet the classic twin design, a primary source of evidence on this matter, has been criticized for being biased toward finding genetic influence. In this article, we employ a new data source to test empirically the alternative, exclusively environmental, explanations for ideological similarities between twins. We find little support for these explanations and...
Contrary to the view that linguistic homogeneity is required to create a viable demos, this article argues that linguistic diversity can be a permanent feature of any democratic community, so long as there is a unified and robust voting space that provides a common intentional object, around which distinct public spheres can aesthetically organize their political discourse. An attempt to explain how such a voting space operates in Switzerland, the finest existing exemplar of a multilingual demos, is given. Following the Swiss example, the author proposes, would go a long way to constituting the European Union as a democratically legitimate trans-national demos, despite its formidable linguistic diversity.
In cross-national research on party systems, the empirical units of analysis are often assumed to be self-evident, which can be conducive to misleading research results. This problem is particularly important with regard to party system classification, for which a methodologically rigorous approach to the units of analysis is needed. This article proposes a set of operational criteria for identifying elements that qualify for inclusion within the universe of democratic party systems among individual election outcomes and country-specific sequences of elections. On this basis, I introduce additional criteria for distinguishing between party systems and party non-systems, and among party systems evolving within the same nation-state settings. By applying these criteria to a set of 1502 national legislative elections held in the world’s democracies from 1792 to 2009, the article identifies 162 units that can be entered into a classification of the world’s democratic party systems and 21 party non-systems.
This article provides a detailed set of coding rules for disaggregating electoral volatility into two components: volatility caused by new party entry and old party exit, and volatility caused by vote switching across existing parties. After providing an overview of both types of volatility in post-communist countries, the causes of volatility are analysed using a larger dataset than those used in previous studies. The results are startling: most findings based on elections in post-communist countries included in previous studies disappear. Instead, entry and exit volatility is found to be largely a function of long-term economic recovery, and it becomes clear that very little is known about what causes ‘party switching’ volatility. As a robustness test of this latter result, the authors demonstrate that systematic explanations for party-switching volatility in Western Europe can indeed be found.
British Journal of Political Science (2011), 41: 363-387
Autore: Philipp Rehm
Why has the American political landscape grown more partisan since the 1970s? This article provides a novel account of the determinants of partisanship. The author argues that partisanship is not only shaped by the traditionally suggested socio-economic factors, but also by the uncertainty of future income (risk exposure): rich individuals facing a high degree of risk exposure (or poor people facing low risk exposure) are ‘cross-pressured’; while their income suggests that they should identify with the Republicans, their income prospects make them sympathize with the Democrats. These two traits have overlapped increasingly since the 1970s. Those...