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What explains electoral responses to the ‘Great Recession’ in Europe?

Whiteley, P (2016) 'What explains electoral responses to the ‘Great Recession’ in Europe?' Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, 1 (1). 62 - 76. ISSN 2057-8911

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Abstract

© The Author(s) 2015. The ‘Great Recession’ in Europe started in early 2008 and was the greatest economic crisis facing the continent since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It produced a largescale loss of support for many incumbent parties. The purpose of this paper is to explain responses to the crisis among European electorates with the assistance of three rival models of electoral choice. The first is the cleavages model associated with Rokkan and Lipset which highlights the importance of social groups as the sources of electoral support. The second is the spatial model of party competition which focuses on the ideological distance between voters and parties in relation to divisive issues in society. The third is the valence model which argues that voters will support parties that deliver policies over which there is widespread agreement about what should be done. The paper models electoral support for incumbent parties using data from the European Social Surveys of 2006, conducted prior to the recession, and again in 2012 some four years into the crisis. The results show that all three models are relevant for understanding mass political responses to the crisis. It is also apparent that an ideological shift to the right occurred in electoral support between the two periods and this happened among both the voters and also the incumbent parties in Europe.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2016 12:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2018 22:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16195

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