Cross-Pressures and Political Participation
New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics
New York University (NYU)
University of Michigan
APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper
Early researchers coined the term cross-pressures to describe conflicting influences on political preferences. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the relationship between cross-pressures and participation, but little consensus about their effects. Our paper aims to bring clarity to this debate by comparing a variety of proposed measures and mechanisms side-by-side. We consider the effects of both social cross-pressures, which stem from interactions in one’s social network, and issue cross-pressures, which arise when one’s policy preferences cut across traditional ideological lines. Looking at the 2000 US presidential election, we show that both types of cross-pressures are associated with decreased participation. Our evidence most strongly supports the notion that cross-pressures make individuals more indifferent between candidates and thus less motivated to participate, but also suggests that the potential social costs involved in more public forms of participation play a role in individuals’ calculations as well.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Cross-pressures, political behavior, turnout, participation, United States, Polandworking papers series
Date posted: August 1, 2011 ; Last revised: August 25, 2011
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