Partisan Identification, Value-Orientation and Economic Voting
Chapter 5 cuts to the core of the idea of the voter as a sophisticated political customer with reasonably clear preferences. It examines three key concepts used widely in the study of voting behaviour (1) partisan identification; (2) value-orientation; and (3) economic voting. These concepts are used widely in studies of voting behaviour in the Federal Republic and were developed through the empirical and theoretical dialogue that took place between the ‘political sociology’, ‘political psychology’ and ‘political economy’ schools of behavioural research (Carmines and Huckfeldt, 1998: 223–4). As discussed in Chapter 2, most accounts of pre-1939 party systems on historical documents lent themselves to the adoption of the Lipset-Rokkan model. Lipset and Rokkan’s work provided a heuristic framework that allowed researchers to concentrate on a handful of variables and construct powerful narratives of the development of party-political competition within the constraints of limited and often incomplete data (Clagget et al., 1982: 644). By contrast, researchers of electoral behaviour today can access a far wider range and quantity of data, using some of the most developed technological and methodological tools in political science (Schultze, 1997: 603). As a result in the contemporary literature we find increasingly sophisticated models of voter choice that allow for more complex and potentially less deterministic accounts of the interaction between social structures and party politics.
KeywordsParty Politics Federal State Vote Behaviour Party System Vote Choice
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