The Heuristics of Italian Voters

Delia Baldassarri

in The Simple Art of Voting

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199828241
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979783 | DOI:
The Heuristics of Italian Voters

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Chapter 4 enters directly into the heart of the book. First, it provides a summary of the theoretical framework and outlines our major research hypotheses. Second, it describes the Italian political system of the 1990s and highlights its most salient characteristics, thus setting the basis for our classification of Italian citizens. Finally, it describes the classification criteria used to assign respondents to different voting categories. The first type, utilius, understands politics using the ideological categories of “left” and “right” and defines his own voting preference following a principle of spatial proximity. The second type of voter, amicus, conceives of politics as a dichotomy; she tends to reduce reality to a dualism: the competition between party coalitions (and between their leaders). A third type, aliens, is driven by an active rejection of politics and is unwilling or unable to represent the political debate through traditional ideological categories. The last type, medians, constitutes a residual category, including all those cases that do not belong to the previous categories. The analysis is based on two public opinion surveys carried out by the Itanes (Italian National Election Studies) research group.

Keywords: Italian political system; voter typology; Heuristics of Italian voters; spatial voters; coalitional voters; political disaffection

Chapter.  14212 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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