Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 10
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Potter, Joshua D. 2016. Constituency Diversity, District Magnitude and Voter Co-ordination. British Journal of Political Science, p. 1.


    Northmore-Ball, Ksenia 2016. Increasingly unequal turnout in Eastern European new democracies: Communist and transitional legacies versus new institutions. Electoral Studies, Vol. 42, p. 188.


    Armingeon, Klaus and Schädel, Lisa 2015. Social Inequality in Political Participation: The Dark Sides of Individualisation. West European Politics, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 1.


    Gintis, Herbert 2016. Homo Ludens: Social rationality and political behavior. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 126, p. 95.


    Laurison, Daniel 2016. Social Class and Political Engagement in the United States. Sociology Compass, Vol. 10, Issue. 8, p. 684.


    Cox, Gary W. 2015. Electoral Rules, Mobilization, and Turnout. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 18, Issue. 1, p. 49.


    Hall, Peter A. and Lamont, Michèle 2013. Why Social Relations Matter for Politics and Successful Societies. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 16, Issue. 1, p. 49.


    Fieldhouse, Edward and Cutts, David 2016. Shared Partisanship, Household Norms and Turnout: Testing a Relational Theory of Electoral Participation. British Journal of Political Science, p. 1.


    JOO, MAN-SOO and YUN, SUNGHO 2014. Expressiveness and Voting Decision: New Evidence from the Korean Parliamentary Election. Japanese Journal of Political Science, Vol. 15, Issue. 02, p. 259.


    Schmitt-Beck, Rüdiger and Lup, Oana 2013. Seeking the Soul of Democracy: A Review of Recent Research into Citizens' Political Talk Culture. Swiss Political Science Review, Vol. 19, Issue. 4, p. 513.


    ×

Informal Social Networks and Rational Voting

Abstract

Classical rational choice explanations of voting participation are widely thought to have failed. This article argues that the currently dominant Group Mobilization and Ethical Agency approaches have serious shortcomings in explaining individually rational turnout. It develops an informal social network (ISN) model in which people rationally vote if their informal networks of family and friends attach enough importance to voting, because voting leads to social approval and vice versa. Using results from the social psychology literature, research on social groups in sociology and their own survey data, the authors argue that the ISN model can explain individually rational non-altruistic turnout. If group variables that affect whether voting is used as a marker of individual standing in groups are included, the likelihood of turnout rises dramatically.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Timothy J. Feddersen , ‘Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18 (2004), 99112

Timur Kuran , ‘Ethnic Norms and Their Transformation through Reputational Cascades’, Journal of Legal Studies, 27 (1998), 623659

Guillermo Owen and Bernard Grofman , ‘To Vote or Not to Vote: The Paradox of Nonvoting’, Public Choice, 42 (1984), 311325

Stanley Besen and Joseph Farrell , ‘Choosing How to Compete: Strategies and Tactics in Standardization’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8 (1994), 117131

John H. Aldrich , ‘Rational Choice and Turnout’, American Journal of Political Science, 37 (1993), 246278

Ron Shachar and Barry Nalebuff , ‘Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation’, American Economic Review, 89 (1999), 525547

Rebecca B. Morton , ‘A Group Majority Voting Model of Public Good Provision’, Social Choice and Welfare, 4 (1987), 117131

Rebecca B. Morton , ‘Groups in Rational Turnout Models’, American Journal of Political Science, 35 (1991), 758776

Carole J. Uhlaner , ‘Rational Turnout: The Neglected Role of Groups’, American Journal of Political Science, 33 (1989), 390422

John O. Ledyard , ‘The Pure Theory of Large Two Candidate Elections’, Public Choice, 44 (1984), 741



Arthur Schram and Frans van Winden , ‘Free Riding and the Production and Consumption of Social Pressure’, Journal of Economic Psychology, 12 (1991), 575620

Timothy Feddersen and Alvaro Sandroni , ‘A Theory of Participation in Elections’, American Economic Review, 96 (2006), 12711282

Stephen Coate and Michael Conlin , ‘A Group Rule-Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence’, American Economic Review, 94 (2004), 14761504

John C. Harsanyi , ‘Rule Utilitarianism, Rights, Obligations and the Theory of Rational Behaviour’, Theory and Decision, 12 (1980), 115133


Roy F. Baumeister and Mark R. Leary , ‘The Need to Belong: Desire for Interpersonal Attachments as a Fundamental Human Motivation’, Psychological Bulletin, 117 (1995), 497529

Geoffrey Brennan and Phillip Pettit , The Economy of Esteem: An Essay on Civil and Political Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

David Knoke , ‘Networks of Political Action: Towards Theory Construction’, Social Forces, 68 (1990), 10411063

David Knoke , ‘Networks as Political Glue: Explaining Public Policy-Making’, in William Julius Wilson, ed., Sociology and the Public Agenda (Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage, 1993)

Robert Huckfeldt , Jeffrey Levine , William Morgan and John Sprague , ‘Election Campaigns, Social Communication, and the Accessibility of Discussant Preference’, Political Behavior, 20 (1998), 263294

Robert Huckfeldt , Ken'ichi Ikeda and Franz Urban Pappi , ‘Political Expertise, Interdependent Citizens, and the Value Added Problem in Democratic Politics’, Japanese Journal of Political Science, 1(2000), 171195

Robert Huckfeldt and John Sprague , ‘Discussant Effects on Vote Choice: Intimacy, Structure, and Interdependence’, Journal of Politics, 53 (1991), 122158


Christopher B. Kenny , ‘The Microenvironment of Attitude Change’, Journal of Politics, 56 (1994), 715728

Christopher B. Kenny , ‘The Behavioral Consequences of Political Discussion: Another Look at Discussant Effects on Vote Choice’, Journal of Politics, 60 (1998), 231244


Alan S. Zuckerman , Nicholas A. Valentino and Ezra W. Zuckerman , ‘A Structural Theory of Vote Choice: Social and Political Networks and Electoral Flows in Britain and the United States’, Journal of Politics, 56 (1994), 10081033



Scott D. McClurg , ‘Indirect Mobilization: The Social Consequences of Party Contacts in an Election Campaign’, American Politics Research, 32 (2004), 406443

Miller McPherson , Lynn Smith-Lovin and James Cook , ‘Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks’, Annual Review of Sociology, 27 (2001), 415444

Peter Marsden , ‘Core Discussion Networks of Americans’, American Sociological Review, 52 (1987), 122131

Leann M. Tigges , Irene Browne and Gary P. Green , ‘Social Isolation of the Urban Poor: Race, Class, and Neighborhood Effects on Social Resources’, Sociological Quarterly, 39 (1998), 5377

Richard J. Timpone , ‘Ties That Bind: Measurement, Demographics, and Social Connectedness’, Political Behavior, 20 (1998), 5377

Morris P. Fiorina and Samuel J. Abrams , ‘Political Polarization in the American Public’, Annual Review of Political Science, 11 (2008), 563588


Diana C. Mutz , ‘The Consequences of Cross-Cutting Networks for Political Participation’, American Journal of Political Science, 46 (2002), 838855

Alan Gerber , Donald Green and Ron Shachar , ‘Voting May Be Habit-Forming: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment’, American Journal of Political Science, 47 (2003), 540550


Andrea Campbell , Politics Make Citizens: Senior Political Activism and the American Welfare State (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003)

Adonis J. Yatchew and Zvi Griliches , ‘Specification Error in Probit Models’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 67 (1985), 134139

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×