Economic Globalisation, the Perceived Room to Manoeuvre of National Governments, and Electoral Participation: Evidence from the 2001 British General Election
30 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2013 Last revised: 9 Jan 2015
Date Written: February 26, 2013
Recent macro-level research argues that economic globalisation has negative consequences for electoral turnout as globalisation would constrain the leeway of national governments and thereby render elections less meaningful to voters. This article constitutes the first attempt to analyse the link between perceptions of the national government’s room to manoeuvre and turnout on the individual level: Do individual perceptions that national governments enjoy less leeway under economic globalisation lead to a lower individual inclination to vote? The paper draws on the case of UK’s General Election in 2001 and, thus, a context in which the idea of a constraining effect of globalisation was made particularly salient. It is shown that citizens who believe in less room to manoeuvre are less likely to report to have voted. Further findings also support the proposed theoretical model according to which room to manoeuvre perceptions matter for the perceived importance of elections which in turn affects turnout. Additional evidence suggests that the turnout-dampening effect of perceived globalization constraints is concentrated among voters to the left of the ideological spectrum.
Keywords: economic globalization, turnout, calculus of voting, room to maneuver, electoral participation
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