Mark Franklin, Elections&Voters

Topics: Elections, Election, Labour Party Pages: 56 (15603 words) Published: January 30, 2014
Elections and Voters
by
Cees van der Eijk
(University of Nottingham)

and
Mark N. Franklin
(European University Institute Florence, Nuffield
College Oxford, and Trinity College Connecticut)

Draft of December 2008

189

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface [1,147 words]

iii

Chapter 1: Why elections? [9,663 words]

1

Chapter 2: Studying elections, parties and voters [15,134 words]

23

Chapter 3: Electoral institutions [15,831 words]

59

Chapter 4: Voters and parties [15,972 words]

94

Chapter 5: Outcomes of elections [9,715]

131

Chapter 6: The role of public opinion [14,398 words]

154

Chapter 7: Voter orientations [15,089]

189

Chapter 8: Assessing electoral democracy [8,420 words]

226

Guide to further reading

252

190

From the Preface
This is a book about elections and voters. It is intended as a textbook for those who want a general introduction to the topic, but it is not first and foremost concerned with imparting exhaustive factual knowledge about the nuts and bolts of electoral systems, voting arrangements, party systems, and policy differences. Such a book would necessarily focus on only part of what we want to cover, and such books (each one dealing with only a part of our agenda) already exist. This is first and foremost a book about the logic of representative democracy and about the role of the electoral process within this logic. It sees elections as opportunities for strategic action on the part of voters and politicians, and tries to explain how election outcomes should be understood as resulting from the interplay of preferences and strategies, which in turn are constrained and channeled by institutional arrangements and communication structures. In it we hope to supply a picture of how electoral democracy works, together with an assessment of how well it works, using a complete (though not exhaustive) set of tools and theories employed at the cutting edge of political science research. In short, this is a book about what has been called “the wider agenda of electoral research” (Thomassen 2000) in which we have tried to integrate theories about specific aspects of the electoral process, including theories about electoral systems, coalition formation, voter motivation and mobilization, political communication, and so on. We try to relate all these theories to oneanother in an encompassing view of electoral democracy. We also try to clarify some important reasons why politics in different countries has a different flavor: not because voters are different in different countries, and seldom because of differences in political leadership, but more usually because institutions and party systems are different. Though there are of course differences in individual values, and historical differences with 191

contemporary resonance in terms of social structure, we see systemic characteristics as being fundamental in explaining why party systems differ from country to country, why political leaders approach elections differently, and why voters make their choices in different terms. Because the characters of electoral and other institutions are so fundamental, and because these institutions differ primarily between countries (and only secondarily over time), in our view elections and voters can only be understood comparatively. That is what we try to do. The countries that we study are mainly established democracies, where the electorates of today have only democratic life experiences. However, from time to time we do refer to democracies that are not yet established, and in Chapter 7 we devote an entire section to the analysis of voting behavior in the countries of Central Europe that recently became members of the European Union.

The knowledge base on which we build this story is incomplete, but still we try to give a complete and coherent picture, filling in gaps by extrapolating from cognate knowledge and sometimes even by speculation (though we try...
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