Consequences of Context

Consequences of Context

How the Social, Political, and Economic Environment Affects Voting


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This book presents the most systematic and consistent study to date of the ‘consequences of context’ for the process through which citizens decide on their electoral behaviour. It derives contextual variation from cross-national and within-country comparisons. The contextual dimensions investigated pertain to the political, economic and social domains, and their impact is investigated on the factors that drive citizens’ decision to participate in an election and on their subsequent decision of which party to vote for. The book thus focuses not on whether people vote and for which party, but instead on more fundamental questions about contextual effects on the determinants of electoral participation and the vote. The analyses are based on an integrated database of national election studies conducted in European countries and utilises an innovative multi-level logistic regression methodology. This methodology, elaborated in detail early on and subsequently applied in each of the following chapters, identifies the moderating effect, or the “consequences”, of altogether nine classes of different context conditions on individual level determinants of electoral participation and party choice.