24.06.2021

EPSA General Conference - Drei Vorträge von und mit Martin Elff

Political Context and the Formation of Party Identification in the United States

Auf der diesjähringen Konferenz der European Political Science Association war Martin Elff mit drei Papieren und zwei Vorträgen beteiligt. Darin hat er Forschungsergebnisse zu den Themenbereichen Partei-Identifikation von US-Wähler:innen, die Bestimmung von politischen Positionen aus Wahlprogrammen von Parteien und zur sich änderenden Rolle der Religion für das Wahlverhalten in Europa vorgestellt.


24. Juni 2021, 11:00-13:15 | Prof. Dr. Martin Elff | EPSA Virtual Conference 2021 | Panel "The Origins of Political Attitudes" | Vortrag Political Context and the Formation of Party Identification in the United States (Ko-Autorin Hannah Rajski, Uni Konstanz)


Englische Zusammenfassung:

Party identification (PID) is a central concept for the explanation and prediction not only of electoral choices but also of issue attitudes and political perception. The traditional conception of PID attributes its formation mostly to citizens' primary socialisation by family and primary social groups. While it has often been debated in the literature whether PID really is an "unmoved mover" or subject to feedback effects from the political performance of party candidates or their issue positions, this discussion has usually focussed on the national level. We complement this perspective in two ways: first, by looking at feedback effects that originate at the level of individual US states, second, by looking at the socialisation effects of the partisanship of presidents and state governments. Using multilevel ordinal logit modelling applied to cumulated American Election Study data from 1958 to 1992, we show that even after controlling for parental PID and other predictors, the party not only of the US president but also of the governor of the state experienced during adolescence and early adulthood affects the formation of PID. Our results confirm the importance of social identity theory for a complete understanding of citizens' partisanship.


Valence or Position? Both! A Unified Conception of Party Competition and Its Implications for the Reconstruction of Parties' Political Profiles

24. Juni 2021, 13:15-15:30 | Prof. Dr. Martin Elff | EPSA Virtual Conference 2021 | Panel "Party Ideology" | Vortrag Valence or Position? Both! A Unified Conception of Party Competition and Its Implications for the Reconstruction of Parties' Political Profiles


Englische Zusammenfassung:

There are two distinct conceptions about how parties use political topics to appeal to voters. According to the first conception political topics that parties refer to in their manifestos are essentially controversial. In one variant of this conception parties make either positive or negative references to these topics and their respective position is expressed by the balance of positive and negative positions. In a different variant of the conception the controversial nature of topics becomes manifest by parties’ divergent selective emphasis of them. In the second conception parties avoid taking stances on controversial topics. Instead parties mostly refer to non-controversial political aims or "valence issues" and selectively emphasize those of which they have gained "issue ownership". I argue that neither of these conceptions is exclusively valid and propose a synthesizing conception. I construct a model that formalizes this conceptual synthesis and develop a method of reconstructing parties' political profiles based on this model from manifesto data.

The Transformation of Religious Cleavages in European Democracies: A Comparative Analysis

25. Juni 2021, 17:45-20:00 | Prof. Dr. Martin Elff | EPSA Virtual Conference 2021 | Panel "The Politics of Religion" | Vortrag The Transformation of Religious Cleavages in European Democracies: A Comparative Analysis (Ko-Autor:innen Kamil Marcinkiewicz, Uni Hamburg, Ruth Dassonneville, Université de Montréal


Englische Zusammenfassung:

Of all socio-demographic factors, religion is one of the most important determinants of voting behavior. The secularization of Western societies, however, has changed impact of religion on electoral behavior. While secularization limits the political relevance of religion it also affects the nature of religious cleavages. As evidence from the United States suggests, a decrease of denominational differences goes hand in hand with an increased relevance of religiosity. As a result, a divide between the secular sections of the society and a cross-denominational “coalition of the religious” has emerged (Putnam and Campbell 2012). In this paper, we examine whether this change also occurs in Europe.

Our analysis relies on survey data from all currently available nine waves of the European Social Survey (ESS) covering the period from 2002 to 2018. We compare the explanatory power of different measures of religion in models of vote choice, with a focus on the contrast between religious denomination and religiosity, where we consider both subjective measures, such as self-reported religiosity, and measures based on overt behavior, such as church attendance. Combining ESS data with data on parties’ political positions from the Manifesto Project and the Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES), allows us to go beyond conventional approaches that rely on a pre-determined classification of parties into party families and to take into account the dynamics of party competition instead.

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