Democracy, Intermediation, and Voting on Four Continents

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This book presents the results of systematic comparative analyses of electoral behavior and support for democracy in 13 countries on four continents. It is based on national election surveys held in "old" and "new" democracies in Europe (Germany, Britain, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria), North and South America (the United States, Chile and Uruguay), and Asia (Hong Kong) between 1990 and 2004. It is methodologically innovative, notwithstanding the fact that its core concern with "political intermediation" (i.e., the flow of political information from parties and candidates to voters through the mass-communications media, membership in secondary associations, and direct, face-to-face contacts within interpersonal networks) was first introduced to the study of electoral behavior by Paul Lazarsfeld and his collaborators in the 1940s. In addition to reviving that long-neglected analytical framework, this book breaks new ground by systematically exploring the impact of socio-political values on electoral behavior. It also analyzes the role of political intermediation in forming basic attitudes towards democracy (which are crucial for the consolidation of new democracies), and, in turn, channeling those orientations into various forms of political behavior. Some of the findings presented in this volume are dramatic, and clearly reveal that these channels of information are among the most powerful factors influencing the development of political attitudes and partisan electoral behavior. So, too, are socio-political values in some countries (particularly the United States). This volume is the first book-length product of the now 18-country Comparative National Elections Project.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199202836
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 3/12/2007
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Gunther (Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley) is Professor of Political Science at the Ohio State University, where he has also served as Executive Director of International Studies. He is the international coordinator of the 18-country Comparative National Elections Project, of which this book is a product.
Hans-Jürgen Puhle (Dr. phil., Freie Universität Berlin) is Professor of Political Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main. He has been a Fellow of Harvard and Oxford University, and has taught at the universities of Münster and Bielefeld, at Cornell, Stanford, University of Tel Aviv, Universidad de Chile, FLACSO Buenos Aires, and the Instituto Juan March Madrid.
José Ramón Montero (Ph.D., Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain) is Professor of Political Science at the Autonomous University of Madrid and at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Juan March Institute, Madrid.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Intermediation, Information, and Electoral Politics, Gunther, José Ramón Montero, and Hans-Jürgen Puhle
2. Democracy and Intermediation: Some Attitudinal and Behavioral Dimensions, Richard Gunther, José Ramón Montero and Mariano Torcal
3. The Mass Media in Third-Wave Democracies: Gravediggers or Seedsmen of Democratic Consolidation?, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck and Katrin Voltmer
4. Intermediation Through Secondary Associations: The Organizational Context of Electoral Behavior, Paolo Bellucci, Marco Maraffi, and Paolo Segatti
5. The Flow of Political Information: Personal Discussants, the Media, and Partisanship, Bradley Richardson and Paul Allen Beck
6. Voting and Intermediation: Informational Biases and Electoral Choices in Comparative Perspective, Pedro C. Magalhães
7. Value Cleavages and Partisan Conflict, Richard Gunther and Kuan Hsin-chi
8. Conclusions: Processes of Intermediation, Electoral Politics, and Political Support in Old and New Democracies, Hans-Jürgen Puhle, José Ramón Montero, and Richard Gunther

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