Cleavage Politics

Oddbjørn Knutsen and Elinor Scarbrough

in The Impact of Values

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294757
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599040 | DOI:

Series: Beliefs in Government

Cleavage Politics

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This chapter assesses the plausibility of claims about the changing dynamics of mass politics in Western Europe, by contrasting the ‘cleavage’ and ‘values’ models of voting behaviour. These represent the disintegrative and integrative functions of political affiliation. The article then sets out a model of party choice that is empirically tested against voting statistics for the period from the early 1970s to 1990. The findings, while mixed, point to the general conclusion that the basis of party choice is more stable than has been suggested by ‘new politics’ accounts.

Keywords: value orientations; voting behaviour; Western Europe

Chapter.  11650 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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