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’Tis but a Habit in an Unconsolidated Democracy

Habitual Voting, Political Alienation and Spectatorship

Anthony Lawrence A. Borja

evaluate the progress of a democratisation project is by looking at the development of this civic practice in terms of both quantity (voter turnout) and quality (voters’ preferences). Focusing on the former, specifically the impact of political alienation

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David Nachmias, Maoz Rosenthal, and Hani Zubida

While national government elections are perceived as first order institutions that result in relatively high turnout rates, local elections are viewed as second-order institutions and are usually characterized by low turnout rates. We claim that this behavior is conditioned by the stakes that voters associate with elections as well as the voters' relative position in the socio-ethnic stratification structure. In this article we show that such conditions may yield an inversion in voters' perspectives. In other words, voters who are alienated from national government institutions and who are effectively mobilized by leaders of their socio-ethnic groups, which have high stakes in second-order institutions, tend to invert their preference with regard to the significance of elections. In such instances, national elections become second-order elections, and local elections become first-order elections. We use ballot-box level data from two national and two local elections in Israel to test this theory.

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Chiara Carrozza

The four referendums that took place on 12 and 13 June 2011 broke

the long cycle of unsuccessful abrogative referendums in Italy that,

since June 1997, had failed to reach the necessary quorum. The

reversal of this trend in 2011 was particularly noteworthy: not only

was the quorum reached, but voter turnout returned to figures comparable

to those prior to 1997. In addition, the questions raised in

the referendums were, albeit for a short time, at the center of public

debate. What are the factors that gave rise to this high level of

participation? And how can we interpret the results? By tracing the

events surrounding the referendums, this chapter will put forward

some interpretations.

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Vincenzo Emanuele and Nicola Maggini

The importance of the 2016 municipal elections in Italy was a consequence not only of the number and relevance of the cities involved, including Rome, Milan, Naples, and Turin, but also of their timing, occurring in the middle of the 2013–2018 electoral cycle. These elections were thus perceived as a mid-term test for the national government, acquiring a relevance that went beyond their specific local context. This chapter analyzes the electoral supply, voter turnout, electoral results, and vote shifts, focusing on a synchronic and diachronic comparison of the performance of the candidates and the parties. The evidence presented shows that despite winning the plurality of municipalities, the Democratic Party clearly paid the cost of ruling at the national level. The number of its mayors was halved, and it was defeated in Rome and Turin by the Five Star Movement, the true winner of these elections.

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Steven Weldon and Andrea Nüsser

Although characterized by widespread public apathy and record low voter turnout, the 2009 Bundestag election solidified a stable, but fluid five-party system that will likely be a defining feature of German political life for the next generation. The three minor parties each achieved historical bests at the polls with steep losses for the two traditional Volksparteien. Drawing on data from the German Longitudinal Electoral Study (GLES), this article examines the nature of this new five-party system with a closer look at each party's voters in the 2009 election. The analysis shows the breadth and stability of the five-party system—each party draws significant support across all sixteen Länder; and, despite a growing number of swing voters, each party has a core group of committed voters that alone exceeds the 5 percent national electoral threshold. We also find evidence that the increased volatility and fluidity of the party system is structured along the left-right ideological spectrum with the parties divided into two major camps and vote-switching much more likely within the respective camps rather than between them.

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Frédéric Viguier

For the last thirty years, electoral sociologists in France have observed a decline in electoral participation. France saw a century of high voter turnout, with around 80% of registered voters participating in each election of National Assembly

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Vincent Pons

responsible for their impact on voter turnout and choice. 9 Diverse as they are, these studies share one essential feature: their methodology, known as randomized evaluation or randomized controlled trial. Borrowed from medical research, this methodology

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Resist and Revivify

Democratic Theory in a Time of Defiance

Jean-Paul Gagnon and Emily Beausoleil

2014 ) and a difficulty in relating to dominant political parties ( Gauja 2016: 89 ) leading to low voter turnout, especially in subnational elections ( Green and Gerber 2015: 174–177 ), 1 as well as a sense that certain political practices are behind

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Brent E. Sasley

widespread discrimination against different communities, which raises questions about how healthy a democracy can be under such conditions. Discussions about voter turnout rates, political polarization, and Puerto Rico's inferior status compared to the 50

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Sheikhs and the City

Urban Paths of Contention in Sidon, Lebanon

Are John Knudsen

Freedom Independents and Assir-supporters led by Ali Sheikh Ammar NA 2,277 n/a ( * ) The lists ran under different names in the 2010 elections: Loyalty and Development; The Popular Will. ( ** ) Voter turnout % (total votes): 2016: 44