Taking Turns at the Ballot Box: Selective Participation as a New Perspective on Low Turnout

Dermont, Clau (2016). Taking Turns at the Ballot Box: Selective Participation as a New Perspective on Low Turnout. Swiss political science review / Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 22(2), pp. 213-231. Wiley 10.1111/spsr.12194

[img] Text
Dermont-2016-Swiss_Political_Science_Review.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (290kB) | Request a copy

Participation research on voting usually considers only one vote or election, and therefore separates citizens into the categories of participants and absentees. Consequently, low turnout often is discussed to mean that citizens are either not interested in or fed up with the political system. This paper argues that this cross-sectional perspective severely underestimates political participation particularly in democracies in which citizens regularly are asked to vote using direct democratic ballot measures. Taking into account not just one but 15 ballot decisions simultaneously, this paper demonstrates that a majority of citizens participates only selectively, and therefore voluntarily chooses to abstain. Using official turnout data, which enables the tracking of individuals’ participative behaviour over time in a Swiss commune, this paper demonstrates that selective participation is indeed a relevant empirical phenomenon and presents first conclusions about who participates selectively and when these individuals are mobilized.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Dermont, Clau

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

1424-7755

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Clau Dermont

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2017 13:28

Last Modified:

05 Jul 2017 08:10

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/spsr.12194

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Participation; Turnout; Selective participation; Frequency; Direct democracy

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.81599

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81599

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback