Comparing Voter Participation: Individual Resources, Orientations and the Context of Party Politics

33 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 23 Sep 2009

See all articles by Miki C. Kittilson

Miki C. Kittilson

Arizona State University (ASU)

Christopher J. Anderson

Cornell University - Department of Government

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Electoral institutions shape the potential costs and benefits of participation. We argue that, by shaping the range and diversity of choices available to voters, electoral institutions can pull citizens into the democratic process by making voting meaningful. Our analyses of data from 29 contemporary democracies around the world collected by the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project suggest that a differentiated and more numerous electoral supply powerfully influence voter engagement, and that these effects are both indirect and contingent. First, the electoral supply has an indirect effect on turnout by shaping civic attitudes conducive to turnout. More numerous and differentiated choices among parties boost feelings of representation and responsiveness, such as feeling represented by parties and that one's vote matters. Second, a differentiated electoral supply has a contingent effect on turnout by conditioning the effects of political attitudes on voter participation. Citizens who feel represented by a party are more likely to vote if they live in countries where parties present more differentiated policy profiles.

Suggested Citation

Kittilson, Miki C. and Anderson, Christopher J., Comparing Voter Participation: Individual Resources, Orientations and the Context of Party Politics (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451168

Miki C. Kittilson (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Christopher J. Anderson

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
97
Abstract Views
581
rank
340,182
PlumX Metrics