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Social policy preferences and party choice in the 2011 Swiss elections


Fossati, Flavia; Häusermann, Silja (2014). Social policy preferences and party choice in the 2011 Swiss elections. Swiss Political Science Review = Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 20(4):590-611.

Abstract

To what extent do social policy preferences explain party choice? This question has received little attention over the past years, because the bulk of the literature has argued that electoral choice is increasingly shaped by identity-based attitudes, rather than by preferences for economic-distributive social policies. We argue that in the wake of this debate, the significance of social policy preferences for electoral choice has been underestimated, because most contributions neglect social policy debates that are specific to post-industrial societies. In particular, they merely focus on income redistribution, while neglecting distributive conflicts around social investment. The Selects 2011 data allows investigating this crucial distinction for Switzerland. Our empirical analyses confirm that it is pivotal to take the pluridimensionality of distributive conflicts seriously: when looking at preferences for social investment rather than income redistribution, we find that social policy preferences are significant explanatory factors for the choice of the five major Swiss political parties.

Abstract

To what extent do social policy preferences explain party choice? This question has received little attention over the past years, because the bulk of the literature has argued that electoral choice is increasingly shaped by identity-based attitudes, rather than by preferences for economic-distributive social policies. We argue that in the wake of this debate, the significance of social policy preferences for electoral choice has been underestimated, because most contributions neglect social policy debates that are specific to post-industrial societies. In particular, they merely focus on income redistribution, while neglecting distributive conflicts around social investment. The Selects 2011 data allows investigating this crucial distinction for Switzerland. Our empirical analyses confirm that it is pivotal to take the pluridimensionality of distributive conflicts seriously: when looking at preferences for social investment rather than income redistribution, we find that social policy preferences are significant explanatory factors for the choice of the five major Swiss political parties.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Policy, Preferences, Party Choice, Switzerland, Social investment
Language:English
Date:December 2014
Deposited On:19 Dec 2014 23:12
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 09:09
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1424-7755
Additional Information:Special Issue: “The 2011 Swiss Elections”
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/spsr.12115
Official URL:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/spsr.12115/pdf

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