From Positional to Valence Issues? Ideology, Leadership, Globalization, and Electoral Choice

25 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 4 Sep 2010

See all articles by Jack Vowles

Jack Vowles

University of Exeter

Georgios Xezonakis

Quality of Government Institute,University of Gothenburg

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Recent research suggests that globalization is a factor that undermines the salience of the left-right economic dimension for individual voting decisions. Part of this research further suggests that voters compensate by weighting more their attitudes on non- economic ideological dimensions or their partisanship. But there is an alternative plausible explanation: where voting on economic or positional issues is reduced, this will be replaced by ‘valence’ issues: evaluations of party performance and competence primarily but not exclusively expressed around leadership preferences. Moreover, the claim that the effects of ideology are reduced by globalization is still contestable. We explore our hypothesis with data from Module 3 of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems. Findings suggest that in more globalized settings both valence and positional elements of party competition are enhanced.

Suggested Citation

Vowles, Jack and Xezonakis, Georgios, From Positional to Valence Issues? Ideology, Leadership, Globalization, and Electoral Choice (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1641998

Jack Vowles (Contact Author)

University of Exeter ( email )

Amory Building
Rennes Drive
Exeter, Devon EX4 4RJ
United Kingdom

Georgios Xezonakis

Quality of Government Institute,University of Gothenburg ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Göteborg, SE-405 30
Sweden

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