British Journal of Political Science (2011), 41: 341-361
Autore: Jay K. Dow
This study evaluates the extent of party-system extremism in thirty-one electoral democracies as a function of electoral-system proportionality. It uses data from the Comparative Studies of Electoral Systems project to estimate the extent of party-system compactness or dispersion across polities and to determine whether more proportional systems foster greater ideological divergence among parties. Electoral system characteristics most associated with party-system compactness in the ideological space are investigated. The empirics show that more proportional systems support greater ideological dispersion, while less proportional systems encourage parties to cluster nearer the centre of the electoral space. This...
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...
European Journal of Political Research, online version
Autori: Micheal F. Effert, Thomas Gschwend
Polls and coalition signals can help strategic voters in multiparty systems with proportional representation and coalition governments to optimise their vote decision. Using a laboratory experiment embedded in two real election campaigns, this study focuses on voters' attention to and perception of polls and coalition signals. The manipulation of polls and coalition signals allows a causal test of their influence on strategic voting in a realistic environment. The findings suggest that active information acquisition to form fairly accurate perceptions of election outcomes can compensate for the advantage...
British Journal of Political Science (2011), 41: 229-257
Autori: Samuel Abrams, Torben Iversen, David Soskice
Classical rational choice explanations of voting participation are widely thought to have failed. This article argues that the currently dominant Group Mobilization and Ethical Agency approaches have serious shortcomings in explaining individually rational turnout. It develops an informal social network (ISN) model in which people rationally vote if their informal networks of family and friends attach enough importance to voting, because voting leads to social approval and vice versa. Using results from the social psychology literature, research on social groups in sociology and their...