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Citizens, Context, and ChoiceHow Context Shapes Citizens' Electoral Choices$
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Russell J. Dalton and Christopher J. Anderson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599233.001.0001

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The Influence of Party and Electoral Systems on Campaign Engagement

The Influence of Party and Electoral Systems on Campaign Engagement

(p.55) 3 The Influence of Party and Electoral Systems on Campaign Engagement
Citizens, Context, and Choice

Jeffrey A. Karp

Susan A. Banducci

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on how political and institutional features encourage or inhibit more active forms of political participation. Specifically, the chapter explores how the electoral supply (both in terms of the nature and extent of choices) and other contextual factors, such as the electoral system, number of parties, democratic development, and whether voters are choosing between parties or candidates, influence whether and how citizens engage in electoral campaigns either by persuading others to vote or by engaging in campaign-related activity such as attending rallies. The chapter untangles the mechanisms by which these contextual factors matters by testing how the relationship between context and political participation is shaped by the intervening activities of party mobilization and through stronger party preferences. Furthermore, the chapter tests whether these contextual relationships are conditioned by individual characteristics of the voters. The Chapter results show that context matters, however, these effects are strongest on the intermediary variables of party mobilization and strength of partisan attachments. Furthermore, the effects of these intervening variables are conditioned by party polarization such that their effects are stronger in polarized party systems.

Keywords:   political participation, campaigns, party systems, electoral systems, polarization, electoral supply, political parties, mobilization, partisanship, CSES

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