The Third Way: The Theory of Affective Intelligence and American Democracy

Michael Mackuen, George E. Marcus, W. Russell Neuman and Luke Keele

in The Affect Effect

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226574417
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226574431 | DOI:
The Third Way: The Theory of Affective Intelligence and American Democracy

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This chapter provides the most recent stage of evolution of one of the earliest theories in political science—the theory of affective intelligence—and introduces a restatement of the theory, contrasting its claims to those of the principal competitors in political science and an array of empirical findings. The theory of affective intelligence holds that people have two basic decision strategies available, and that they easily move from one to the other and back again. It argues that voter competence is dynamically responsive to the strategic character of the political geography. Effective political campaigns often turn on their ability to recruit support from the hostile opposition. The theory of affective intelligence substantially revises the conventional wisdom about the periodicity of elections, and also provides a micro-account of a political psychology that sustains a normative portrait of democracy which is more encouraging than has previously been thought plausible.

Keywords: affective intelligence; political science; voter competence; political geography; political campaigns; elections; political psychology

Chapter.  10326 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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