Exit oder Voice? Die Wahlbeteiligung politisch Unzufriedener

Heidelberger, Anja; Gerber, Marlène; Bühlmann, Marc (2020). Exit oder Voice? Die Wahlbeteiligung politisch Unzufriedener. In: Careja, Romana; Emmenegger, Patrick; Giger, Nathalie (eds.) The European Social Model under Pressure (pp. 481-500). Wiesbaden: Springer VS 10.1007/978-3-658-27043-8_27

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This contribution examines voter turnout among individuals dissatisfied with democracy. Specifically, we ask under which conditions dissatisfied citizens make use of their right to vote, and how this manifests itself in their voter preference. The results of our analysis of 21 European countries identify party affiliation as the most important determinant for the decision of dissatisfied individuals to participate in elections altogether. In general, a majority of displeased individuals does participate in elections, and hence do not express their alienation by abstaining from voting. However, we do not find any evidence that dissatisfied voters primarily vote for protest parties. Only when a protest party has already reached a respectable size are dissatisfied voters more likely to affiliate with them than with a classical opposition party – however, not significantly more likely than dissatisfied individuals with an affiliation to a government party. Our results thus support the conclusion that voter turnout of dissatisfied voters does not lead to the destabilization of the political system.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Heidelberger, Anja; Gerber, Marlène and Bühlmann, Marc


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Springer VS




Marlène Gerber

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2020 08:38

Last Modified:

23 Apr 2020 08:38

Publisher DOI:




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