Social Structure Value Orientations And Party Choice In Western Europe Palgrave Studies In European Political Sociology PDF EPUB Download
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This book analyses the impact of socio-structural variables, such as social class, religion, urban/rural residence, age and gender, on influencing an individual’s voting preferences. There have been major changes in recent decades both to social structure and how social structure determines people’s voting behaviour. There has also been a shift in value orientations, for example from religious to secular values and from more authoritarian to libertarian values. The author addresses the questions: How do social structure and value orientations influence party choice in advanced industrial democracies?; To what extent is the impact of social structure on party choice transmitted via value orientations?; To what extent is the impact of value orientations on party choice causal effects when controlled for the prior structural variables? The book will be of use to advanced students and scholars in the fields of comparative politics, electoral politics and political sociology.
Is European party politics hovering above society? Why do voters pick one party over others? Is it a question of class? Of religion? Of attitudes about taxes or immigration or global warming? Or is it something else entirely? The Structure of Political Competition in Western Europe takes a detailed look at the ways in which Western Europe’s party systems are anchored in social and ideological structures. The book’s first section focuses on the role of social structures - particularly education, class and religion - and analyzes the complex interplay among these factors. The second section addresses the ways that the sociological structures such as class and religion interact with voters’ values. The third section examines the way that these structures and values shape the space of political competition among parties. The conclusion integrates the findings of the empirical articles, putting them into broader comparative perspective, discussing whether relatively predictable structures have been overwhelmed by media-driven spectacles, political personalities and focus on short-term economic performance. This volume will appeal to scholars and graduate students in Europe and those from North America, Asia and other regions who study European politics, political parties, cleavages and political behaviour. This book was published as a special issue of West European Politics.
This comparative study examines what kinds of societal forces shape European relationships towards democratic political life in contemporary Europe. Drawing on data from the European Social Survey (ESS), the book develops a theoretical perspective on the relationship between social structure and democracy and links this to research on social capital and political behaviour. The authors explore the impact of individual social characteristics on a broad range of the Europeans' political attitudes and behaviours. They investigate how the social position of the individuals in the European societies contributes to the explanation of the national and cross-national patterns of political engagement, addressing trust in the social and political environment, life satisfaction, party preferences and attitudes towards migration and migrants. Providing detailed descriptions of the similarities and differences among the various European publics at the beginning of the 21st century, Society and Democracy in Europe will be of strong interest to students and scholars of European politics, political participation and political sociology.
This study is a comparative analysis of the relationship between social structure and party choice in eight West European countries. Oddbjørn Knutsen analyzes the comparative strength of social structural variables, and how these have changed from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. Other factors that are considered include for which parties the structural variables have the largest impact within the various party systems and across national contexts, and for which parties are the most significant change in support from various social groups found.
Given the centrality of political parties in modern democracies, most research on these systems either directly address their internal functioning and activities or question their critical role. Political science has moved from describing institutions to the thorough analysis of behavior within these institutions and the interactions between them. The inevitable consequences of the maturing and institutionalization of the discipline of political science in many countries include the forming of sub-fields and specialized research communities. At the same time the number of democracies has vastly increased since the 1980s and although not each attempt at democratization was eventually successful, more heterogeneous systems with some form of party competition exist than ever before. As a consequence, the literature addressing the large issues of party democracy spreads over many research fields and has become difficult to master for individual students of party democracy and party governance. The present volume sets out to review the behavior and larger role of political parties in modern democracies. In so doing the book takes its departure from the idea that the main contribution of political parties to the working of democracy is their role as vehicles of political competition in systems of government. Consequently the focus is not merely in the internal functioning of political parties, but rather their behavior the electoral, legislative, and governmental arenas. Thus several chapters address how political parties perform within the existing institutional frameworks. One more chapter looks at the role of political parties in building and adapting these institutions. Finally, two chapters explicitly address the party contributions to democracy in established and new democracies, respectively.