The politicized participant ideology and political action in 20 democracies
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Number of pages
SourceComparative Political Studies, 42, 11, (2009), pp. 1426-1457
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
SW OZ NISCO MT
Comparative Political Studies
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
Modern liberal democracies demand high and equal levels of political action. Unequal levels of political action between ideological groups may ultimately lead to biased policy. But to what extent do citizens' ideological preferences affect their likelihood to participate politically? And does the institutional environment moderate this relationship? From rivaling theories, the authors construct hypotheses regarding the relationship between ideological preferences and participation and those regarding the moderating effect of state institutions. They test them for six modes of political action-voting, contacting, campaigning, cooperating, persuading, and protesting-through multilevel analyses of 27 elections in 20 Western democracies. First, they find that citizens' ideological preferences are an important determinant political action. Second, they find that majoritarianism outperforms consensualism: In majoritarian systems, political action is more widespread and not less equal across the crucial factor of ideological preferences. The field should therefore reconsider Lijphart's conclusions about the superiority of consensualism.
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