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Unequal Political Participation Worldwide

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  • Author: Aina Gallego, Barcelona Institute of International Studies
  • Date Published: December 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107023536

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About the Authors
  • Highly educated citizens vote at much lower rates than less educated citizens in some countries. By contrast, electoral participation exhibits no such bias in other countries as diverse as Spain, Denmark, and South Korea. This book describes the levels of unequal participation in thirty-six countries worldwide, examines possible causes of this phenomenon, and discusses its consequences. Aina Gallego illustrates how electoral procedures, party and media systems, unionization, and income inequality impact unequal participation through an original combination of cross-national survey data and survey experiments.

    • Uses a global scope and analyzes electoral participation in thirty-six countries worldwide
    • Tests hypotheses using original survey experiments and observational data
    • Analyzes unequal participation, a central problem in democracy that has been long left unexamined after Verba, Nie, and Kim's study in 1978
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    Awards

    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Unequal Political Participation Worldwide is a book that I would love to have written. We take it as a fact that turnout is lower among the less educated. Gallego establishes that the relationship varies a lot among countries. She meticulously shows why. It all depends on institutional features that increase or decrease the costs of voting. The empirical demonstration is masterful and the interpretation elegant and careful. Read the book: you will learn a lot!"
    André Blais, Université de Montréal

    "Gallego's cross-national study demonstrates that the basic democratic principle of 'one person, one vote' is often lacking in contemporary democracies. She marshals an impressive array of evidence from the comparative study of electoral systems and creative survey experiments to describe educational differences in voting turnout and the causal processes at work. This book yields valuable new insights into how context - ranging from electoral systems to income inequality - shapes electoral turnout, and why it matters."
    Russell J. Dalton, University of California, Irvine

    "In this important, clearly written book, Gallego shows that the linkage between education and electoral participation across thirty-six democracies varies enormously … The book is particularly impressive in [two] ways: the first is a careful distinction between homogeneous and heterogeneous effects, that is, factors that affect all potential voters equally versus differentially; the second … is the inclusion of three survey experiments testing the effects of ballot structures and the extent of electoral and governmental fragmentation on the probability to vote."
    A. Siaroff, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107023536
    • length: 252 pages
    • copublisher: Centro de Invesigaciones Sociológicas
    • dimensions: 218 x 142 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 14 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Unequal participation around the world
    2. Heterogeneous consequences of contexts on participation
    3. The difficulty of the voting procedure
    4. Government fragmentation and media systems
    5. Trade unions in the highly educated membership era
    6. Income inequality and the participation of lower-status groups
    7. Consequences of unequal participation for representation
    Conclusions.

  • Author

    Aina Gallego, Barcelona Institute of International Studies
    Aina Gallego is a Ramon y Cajal Fellow at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies. She completed her doctoral dissertation at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2008, and she was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University and the Spanish High Research Council. Her research focuses on several aspects of democratic representation, including inequalities in voter turnout and political participation, the formation of political preferences, and the effects of electoral systems and income inequality on political behavior.

    Awards

    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015

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