This article explains the positions taken by national political parties on the issue of European integration over the period 1984-96. Based on the theory of party systems developed by Lipset and Rokkan, we develop a cleavage account of party response to new political issues. We hypothesize that European integration is assimilated into pre-existing ideologies of party leaders, activists and constituencies that reflect long-standing commitments on fundamental domestic issues.
Whether citizens vote strategically, using their votes to defeat their least-preferred candidate, or vote sincerely, voting for their first choice among the alternatives, is a question of longstanding interest. We offer two innovations in searching for the answer to this question. First, we begin with a more consistent model of sincere voting in multiparty democratic systems than has been presented in the literature to date. Secondly, we incorporate a new operationalization of the objective potential for strategic behaviour. We offer a test of strategic voting in the 1987 British general election based on the variance in strategic setting across constituencies in Britain. We allow voters to use available information about the relative standings of parties in their constituency in deciding whether or not to cast a strategic vote. We estimate a lower level of strategic voting than many other methods have estimated. We also demonstrate that the use of self-reported vote motivation causes errors in estimating the amount of strategic voting, and that this problem is exacerbated the further from the election the self-report is obtained.
Comparative studies of election rules and legislative representation have focused intensively on vote-seat disproportionality as an indication of poor representation. Beginning with citizens' preferences, rather than votes, has important advantages and is especially more appropriate for a majoritarian vision of democracy. We analyse the effect of election rules on both vote-seat correspondence and median left-right correspondence in seventy elections in Seventeen countries. We show theoretically the stringent conditions necessary to reduce vote-seat disproportionality in high threshold systems and empirically their high variance (and higher levels) of distortion. Although good median correspondence could be created, in theory, under a wide range of electoral systems, our empirical results suggest that proportional representation (PR) systems tend to outperform single-member district (SMD) systems by this criterion also.
The hypothesis is examined that casting a ballot in one election increases the voter's propensity to go to the polls in the future. Voter turnout patterns in the 1972-76 and 1992-96 American National Election Panel Surveys, as well as published experimental research, indicate that the effects of past voter turnout on current voting propensities are sizeable. Moreover, these effects are robust across a wide range of model specifications, including those that take into account the possibility of unobserved factors affecting both past and current turnout. We conclude by discussing the implications of consuetude for political and social behaviour.
This article focuses on one of the central controversies in French intellectual debate since the late 1980s: the extent to which traditional republican principles might be reconciled with a recognition of ethnic and cultural diversity, particularly with relation to North African immigrant communities. After locating the debate in its historical and ideological contexts, the article traces the emergence of three types of response: a 'traditionalist' view, which refuses to make any concessions to the claims of multiculturalism and which reaffirms the need to uphold the orthodox republican principles of the secular state; a 'modernizing' republicanism, which endorses some elements of cultural pluralism while maintaining the validity of key republican concepts; and a 'multiculturalist' republicanism, which calls for a pluralist conception of civic identity and a recognition of the positive value of minority cultures. The article concludes with an assessment of the broader questions of political theory raised by this debate.
This article asks why some ethnically distinct regions fight fiercely to secede while others struggle to save the same multinational state. It tests competing explanations using a new dataset containing forty-five cases, significantly more than any previous study in the Soviet setting. The empirical results confirm arguments that the most separatist regions tend to be those possessing the most wealth, containing the least assimilated ethnic groups and already enjoying the greatest levels of autonomy. Demonstration effects are also found to be powerful. No support is found for prominent theories pointing to group upward mobility and 'skill sets' as being decisive. Group histories of grievous exploitation or national independence are found not to explain patterns of secessionism.
Some political theorists argue that patriotism differs from nationalism in being compatible with universalist liberalism. The theories offered range from the more cosmopolitan constitutional patriotism of Habermas to more rooted republican versions. Despite their rhetorical effectiveness in certain political situations, none of these variants stands up well to critical analysis, and none succeeds in delivering the promised reconciliation of universal humanitarian principles with limited and particularistic commitments.
Data from Great Britain and the United States from the late 1950s to the early 1990s show relatively little change in the frequency with which citizens engage in political discussions, with whom they are likely to speak, and the variables that shape their propensity to engage in political talk. In addition, analyses of the data show that discussing politics enhances citizens' knowledge of public affairs, even net of other variables known to affect political knowledge. Students of political behaviour and those interested in strengthening democracy need to treat political discussions as an important form of political participation.
China's remarkable business expansion abroad since the mid-1980s cannot be explained simply by applying existing theories, which focus on conventional international businesses from capitalist systems. Many puzzling phenomena in Chinese investments abroad become intelligible only when we introduce a key variable - illicit privatization through internationalization. So far only advantageously-placed nomenklatura members and their kin have had access to crossborder ownership, but many of them are accumulating sizeable private wealth at the cost of nationalized property. Contrary to an impression held by many in the West, the Chinese economy under Communist rule experiences spontaneous privatization parallel to what has happened in European postcommunist nations - though with a few Chinese characteristics. An examination of informal privatization in China's multinationals adds a new dimension to our understanding of the shift from state socialism to market capitalism.
Our findings suggest that there are systematic differences in the ways that voters use the real values of economic variables when casting a vote depending on how long they have had to learn about the true state of the economy. It is possible that in campaigns of sufficient length voters may have more time to be exposed to competing campaign messages and to learn about the true state of the economy and the true policy positions of candidates. We tested this assertion on 113 elections in thirteen democracies. The test results in a confirmation of the hypothesis. In longer campaigns, voters rely more heavily on the true values of economic conditions to inform their evaluations of parties in power. In shorter campaigns, these effects are mostly absent. Campaign length seems to matter for voter learning.
Presidential campaigns are the most obvious means by which American voters receive information about candidates and issues, yet there is strong resistance to the notion that they influence presidential elections. We conduct an examination of presidential campaign effects in the 1992 and 1996 elections that features three departures from previous studies: (1) a stronger definition of campaigning and campaign events, facilitating a clearer idea of what it is that we are testing; (2) detailed data on television and newspaper coverage of the campaigns, allowing us to measure media effects; and (3) an alternative measure of electoral impact that is resistant to survey errors and random movement. We find that campaign events, and particularly media coverage of those events, significantly affect the candidates' chances for electoral success.
This article examines critically an explanation, first propounded by Austin Ranney, as to the causes of party reform in the United States. Ranney argued that there is an ambivalent attitude to parties in the United States; while there is evidence of popular support for parties, the political culture is also infused by anti-party values. Periodically this has facilitated the enactment of legislation, promoted by anti-party reformers, constraining parties. Focusing on the Australian Ballot, the article argues that its rapid adoption in the United States resulted from its seeming to solve problems facing party elites in the 1880s - problems that arose from the erosion of a face-to-face society. Despite opposition from anti-party reformers, parties in most states legislated for types of ballot that preserved party control of the electorate. Moreover, during the Progressive era the parties generally continued to preserve a type of ballot that favoured them. The ability of parties to defend their interests against anti-party reformers was possible when it was clear where those interests lay. With other reforms, including the direct primary, this was much less evident, and it was then far more difficult for the parties to defend themselves.
This study examines attitudes about the economy under conditions of system change. We argue that citizens in new market economics are relative novices with regard to understanding the new economic environment at the beginning of the transition phase, but that they accumulate experience as time passes. We develop and test two hypotheses: (1) we expect that, over time, economic perceptions more closely track objective economic performance; (2) as a corollary, we hypothesize that, over time, economic policy priorities of citizens in a new market economy more closely track objective economic performance. Time-series data of objective economic indicators and public opinion collected in East Germany between 1991 and 1995 are analysed using regression analyses and tests of structural change in parameters. We find that East Germans' economic perceptions correspond to actual economic trends as they develop experience with the political-economic system. The implications of our findings for research on the relationship between the economy and political support in societies in transition are discussed.
Dunleavy's bureau-shaping model has breathed new life into existing debates about the behaviour of senior bureaucrats. This article assesses the utility of this model as an explanation of the development of Next Step agencies in the last decade in Britain, using data drawn from a series of extensive interviews with senior civil servants. Our conclusion is that, although the bureau-shaping model represents a significant advance on previous models of bureaucratic behaviour that stress budget maximization, it is flawed. In particular, we argue that: it pays insufficient attention to the broader political context within which civil servants operate; mis-specifies bureaucrats' preferences; and oversimplifies the distinction between managerial and policy advice work. More specifically, we suggest that any explanation of the development of Next Steps agencies needs to recognize that: politicians rather that civil servants played the major role in their creation; the strategic calculations of bureaucrats were significantly more sophisticated than the model assumes; and the consequence of the reforms has been that senior civil servants have played a greater, rather than a more limited, management role.
This article analyses the nature of the support given to the candidates in the 1975 Conservative leadership contest, in which Margaret Thatcher replaced Edward Heath. In contrast to the orthodox account of the contest - which interprets it as largely non-ideological - the article argues that there were clear ideological forces at work. The right strongly supported Thatcher in both rounds; the left strongly backed Heath and then Whitelaw. Region, experience and education also influenced the voting. The traditional accounts, which explain those voting for Thatcher as doing so simply because she was not Heath, have, therefore, to explain why only certain types of MPs felt this way. Margaret Thatcher may have won because she was not Ted Heath; but she did not win solely because she was not Ted Heath.