Voting behavior and political institutions

Authored by: Ian McAllister

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415630887
eBook ISBN: 9781315731377
Adobe ISBN: 9781317551799


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A common refrain in social science is that “institutions matter.” Institutions matter for, among other things, increasing a nation’s wealth, reducing corruption, and effective governance. And not least, political institutions matter for a citizen’s voting behavior. The political institutions within which a voter exercises his or her vote will structure the choices that are available to him or her. In turn, these choices act to shape the eventual voting decision. The interaction between these system-level characteristics and the voter’s own characteristics determines the voting decision. Voting is therefore not simply a personal choice, but one that is shaped by the context within which the choice is made (for reviews, see Anderson, 2007; Dalton and Anderson, 2011; Klingemann, 2009).

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