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Voting for Policy, Not Parties


  • 22 b/w illus. 22 tables
  • Page extent: 238 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521764575)

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$108.00 (C)

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.


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.

Prize Winner

Winner, 2010 William H. Riker Award, Political Economy, American Political Science Association

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