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Individual and Contextual Determinants of Electoral Participation


Bühlmann, M; Freitag, M (2006). Individual and Contextual Determinants of Electoral Participation. Swiss Political Science Review, 12(4):13-47.

Abstract

Individual-level explanations of electoral participation typically argue that non-voting is determined by a combination of facilitative and motivational factors. We advance the argument that, beyond individual characteristics, there are pivotal contextual features which enable or impede individual action through specific incentive structures. Thus, contextual factors influence the individual propensity to vote or to abstain. For the first time the data of Selects 2003 allows for the testing of contextual effects, at least on the cantonal level. Several multilevel analyses show that high party competition, compulsory voting, and strong Catholicism foster individual participation. The findings clearly indicate that an individual's propensity to vote is influenced by personal characteristics as well as by cantonal attributes.

Individual-level explanations of electoral participation typically argue that non-voting is determined by a combination of facilitative and motivational factors. We advance the argument that, beyond individual characteristics, there are pivotal contextual features which enable or impede individual action through specific incentive structures. Thus, contextual factors influence the individual propensity to vote or to abstain. For the first time the data of Selects 2003 allows for the testing of contextual effects, at least on the cantonal level. Several multilevel analyses show that high party competition, compulsory voting, and strong Catholicism foster individual participation. The findings clearly indicate that an individual's propensity to vote is influenced by personal characteristics as well as by cantonal attributes.

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18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:23 Mar 2009 16:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:08
Publisher:Swiss Political Science Association
ISSN:1424-7755
Publisher DOI:10.1002/j.1662-6370.2006.tb00059.x
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-17097

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