The Spatial Diffusion of Voting Participation: Qualitative and Quantitative Predictions as Solutions to the Laplace Equation

34 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2010

See all articles by Stephen Coleman

Stephen Coleman

Metropolitan State University (retired)

Date Written: March 26, 2010

Abstract

Political scientists have offered much evidence that political behavior and attitudes can spread or diffuse through society. For the most part, however, proof of diffusion is limited to excluding other alternatives and showing that a model is “consistent with” a social diffusion process. In legal terms, one might say that the evidence is circumstantial. This paper sets a higher goal for determining whether a diffusion process is behind a spatial distribution. Results will show that social diffusion of voting participation can lead to highly specific and predictable behavior patterns across a country, as seen in the United States and Russia, and that one can test for these patterns with qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Suggested Citation

Coleman, Stephen, The Spatial Diffusion of Voting Participation: Qualitative and Quantitative Predictions as Solutions to the Laplace Equation (March 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1584648 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1584648

Stephen Coleman (Contact Author)

Metropolitan State University (retired) ( email )

St. Paul, MN 55108
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.populardelusions.org

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