Voting for Policy, Not Parties: How Voters Compensate for Power Sharing

Voting for Policy, Not Parties: How Voters Compensate for Power Sharing

by Orit Kedar
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press


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Voting for Policy, Not Parties: How Voters Compensate for Power Sharing

This book proposes an institutionally embedded framework for analyzing voter choice. Voters, Orit Kedar argues, are concerned with policy, and therefore their vote reflects the path set by political institutions leading from votes to policy. Under this framework, the more institutional mechanisms facilitating post-electoral compromise are built into the political process (e.g., multi-party government), the more voters compensate for the dilution of their vote. This simple but overlooked principle allows Kedar to explain a broad array of seemingly unrelated electoral regularities and offer a unified framework of analysis, which she terms compensatory vote. Kedar develops the compensatory logic in three electoral arenas: parliamentary, presidential, and federal. Leveraging on institutional variation in the degree of power sharing, she analyzes voter choice, conducting an empirical analysis that brings together institutional and behavioral data in a broad cross section of elections in democracies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521764575
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/31/2009
Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Orit Kedar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at MIT. Her dissertation, on which this book is based, was the winner of the Noxon Toppan Award for Best Dissertation in Political Science at Harvard University. Her work has appeared in venues such as the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Electoral Studies, and Political Analysis. She also serves on the editorial boards of Electoral Studies and Political Analysis.

Table of Contents

Part I. Voting for Policy: 1. Introduction: institutional sources of voter choice; 2. A theory of compensatory vote; Part II. Empirical Evidence: How Voters Compensate for Diffusion of Power: 3. Compensatory vote in parliamentary democracies; 4. Balancing strong (and weak) presidents; 5. Compensatory vote in federations: evidence from Germany; Part III. Conclusion and Theoretical Implications: 6. Summary, extensions, and implications.

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