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The Abortion Referendum in Portugal

The Influence of Psychosocial Variables in the Voting Intentions and Behavior of Portuguese Youth

Ana Figueiredo and Jorge Silva

February 11th 2007 set the date for what would be an intense and passionate discussion on a gendered health related issue in Portugal: abortion. In the referendum, approximately 44% of the eligible population voted, and from these 59% voted for the legalization of abortion in Portugal. Hence, this referendum brought about changes in the Portuguese law, which now allows legal abortion to occur at the desire of the woman until the 10th week of pregnancy. The present research consists of a study in which 205 university students fully responded to 4 data collection sessions between November 2006 and March 2007. The goal of the study was to understand the most relevant psychosocial variables when trying to explain the voting intentions and voting behavior of Portuguese youth. The variables in the present study included participants’ gender, political orientation, religious affiliation and practice, sexual attitudes and attitudes towards abortion. Our results show that all of the above variables, except for gender, are relevant for the opinion formation about this topic. Approximately 94% of our participants reported they had the intention to vote, although only 64% of these actually voted on the day of the referendum. Finally, we found that participants rely mostly on the strength of their attitudes towards abortion in relation to their voting intention, while relying mostly on the strength of their normative religious beliefs in relation to their voting behavior. Implications of our results for understanding the politics of abortion legislation are discussed.

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New Patterns in the East? Differences in Voting Behavior and Consequences for Party Politics in Germany

Ulrich Eith

On 9 November 1989, the government of the German Democratic

Republic decided to open the Berlin Wall, effectively signaling the

collapse of the socialist system in East Germany. The subsequent

transformation of the country’s political structures, and in particular

that of its political parties, took place in two phases. In the first

phase, directly after the fall of the wall, the GDR’s political system

underwent a radical democratic and pluralistic overhaul without

West German involvement—although the existence of a second German

state, the Federal Republic of Germany, naturally influenced

the goals, strategies, and scope of action of the actors concerned.

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Pulling up the Drawbridge

Anti-Immigrant Attitudes and Support for the Alternative for Germany among Russian-Germans

Michael A. Hansen and Jonathan Olsen

, these Spätaussiedler were given citizenship immediately upon arrival in Germany. 1 Some accounts of voting behavior of Russian-Germans have suggested that a majority have traditionally supported the Union parties, primarily out of gratitude to Helmut

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Testing the Influence of Ambivalence on Vote Switching in the German Multi-party Context

Klara Dentler

” is important and beneficial because presidential elections in the u.s. represent a less likely scenario in which ambivalence might be expected to influence voting behavior. 5 The effects of ambivalence might, however, be stronger and more present

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Support for a Populist Government in Poland

A Few Notes about Its Economic and Cultural Divides

Michał Gulczyński

describe the emerging divisions among the youngest voters, which—if unaddressed—may translate into new cleavages . Economic Explanations Voting behavior in Poland is clearly correlated with the socioeconomic and sociocultural status of the voters

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Two of the Same Kind?

The Rise of the AfD and its Implications for the CDU/CSU

Matthias Dilling

voting behavior, such a heterogeneous support coalition has often been characteristic of populist radical right parties. 62 Yet, the refugee issue blurs the boundary between these groups. Opposition to Merkel’s refugee policies has been widely shared by

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A New Blue-Collar Force

The Alternative for Germany and the Working Class

Philipp Adorf


Within a mere five years, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) has established itself in the German party system. During the same period, however, it has undergone a significant ideological transformation as well. Initially regarded as a direct competitor to the small-government Free Democrats, the AfD has since adopted the tried-and-tested electoral approach of other right-wing populist actors by embracing welfare chauvinist positions, linking the survival of the welfare state to that of the nation state. In doing so it has made substantial inroads into the blue-collar electorate, in some German states even overtaking the Social Democrats as the preferred choice of the working class.

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The politics of entitlement

Affirmative action and strategic voting in Uttar Pradesh, India

Lucia Michelutti and Oliver Heath

This article focuses on the struggles and shifting political strategies of two major political players in northern India: the Yadavs (a low-to-middle ranking pastoral agricultural caste) and the dalits (former untouchables, which in the region mainly come from the Chamar caste) and their political parties, the Samaj wadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, respectively. Both communities (and political parties) have strongly benefited from affirmative action policies over the last three decades. We argue that that these affirmative action policies, and the political rhetoric that has tended to accompany them, have been “vernacularized“ in local sociocultural structures, which in turn has helped to produce folk theories of democracy and social justice that are directly and indirectly legitimizing conflict, and producing new forms of caste-based strategic voting, based on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

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Explaining Germany's Electoral Geography

Evidence from the Eastern States

Steven Wuhs and Eric McLaughlin

Introduction Conventional political wisdom holds that divisions within society are the primary drivers of voting behavior in democratic settings like Germany. Those deep-seated social cleavages are outgrowths of particular historical conflicts

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The Enduring Effect of Immigration Attitudes on Vote Choice

Evidence from the 2021 German Federal Election

Hannah M. Alarian

restrictions may have appeased voters concerned with immigration, thereby reducing the relevance of far-right parties. The reduced political salience of immigration similarly may have destabilized the link between immigration attitudes and voting behavior, as