Skip navigation.
Home

CONTEXT WITHIN A CONTEXT: ON THE DIFFERENT IMPACT OF 'CONTEXTUAL FACTORS‘ IN NATIONAL AND SECOND ORDER ELECTIONS

TitleCONTEXT WITHIN A CONTEXT: ON THE DIFFERENT IMPACT OF 'CONTEXTUAL FACTORS‘ IN NATIONAL AND SECOND ORDER ELECTIONS
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCzesnik, Mikolaj, Michal Kotnarowski, and Radoslaw Markowski
Conference Name2nd European Conference on Comparative Electoral Research, Theme: The Context of Electoral Behaviour
Keywordscontext, elections, voter turnout
Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to compare the effects of interaction between two types of contextual variables. We distinguish the 'traditional' institutional and social contextual factors (federalism vs. unitarism, electoral rules, party system format, disproportionality and the like) at the first MACRO level and we add to it – a sort of – 'meta-contextual' variable at the second MACRO level, which is the type of election (national vs. European). We investigate its' impact on voter turnout, which is one of the major problems in studies on EP elections. The research is only partly conclusive about the causes of this phenomenon, but in almost all European countries the turnout in EP elections is significantly lower than in national elections. Studies in electoral research (most often implicitly) assume that macro-level determinants of voter behaviour operate in the same way on both levels (i.e. in national and in EP elections level). This assumption might be misleading and thus it needs in-depths scrutiny. Briefly: it remains an open empirical question whether contextual (macro-level) factors have a similar effect on voter turnout in both national and EP elections. Our scholarly curiosity is focused on checking whether – and if yes, to what extent – we can claim that the same 'traditional' contextual variables exert a different influence on voter participation depending on the 'meta-context' of the type of an election. The relationship controls for the impact of socio-demographics. Our paper is a comparison of those countries which feature in both CSES and PIREDEU projects.

AttachmentSize
Context_within_a_context_Czesnik&Kotnarowski&Markowski_RhodesCOST_April2013.pdf101.01 KB