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The Generational and Institutional Sources of the Global Decline in Voter Turnout

Kostelka, Filip and Blais, André (2021) 'The Generational and Institutional Sources of the Global Decline in Voter Turnout.' World Politics, 73 (4). 629 - 667. ISSN 0043-8871

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Abstract

Why has voter turnout been declining in democracies all over the world? This article draws on findings from micro-level studies and theorizes two explanations: generational change and a rise in the number of elective institutions. The empirical section tests these hypotheses along with other explanations proposed in the literature (shifts in party/candidate competition, voting age reforms, weakening group mobilization, income inequality, and economic globalization). We conduct two analyses. The first analysis employs an original data set covering all post-1945 democratic national elections. The second studies individual-level data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems and American, British, and Canadian national election studies. The results strongly support the generational change and elective institutions hypotheses, which account for most of the decline. These findings have important implications for a better understanding of the current transformations of representative democracy and the challenges it faces.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: voter turnout, elections, global trends, generational change, value change, institutional change
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 10:31
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30555

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