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The Impact of Values$
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Jan W. Van Deth and Elinor Scarbrough

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294751.001.0001

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Cleavage Politics

Cleavage Politics

(p.492) 18 Cleavage Politics
The Impact of Values

Oddbjørn Knutsen (Contributor Webpage)

Elinor Scarbrough (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the plausibility of claims about the changing dynamics of mass politics in Western Europe, by contrasting the ‘cleavage’ and ‘values’ models of voting behaviour. These represent the disintegrative and integrative functions of political affiliation. The article then sets out a model of party choice that is empirically tested against voting statistics for the period from the early 1970s to 1990. The findings, while mixed, point to the general conclusion that the basis of party choice is more stable than has been suggested by ‘new politics’ accounts.

Keywords:   value orientations, voting behaviour, Western Europe

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