Measuring Partisanship as a Social Identity in Multi-Party Systems

Measuring Partisanship as a Social Identity in Multi-Party Systems There is no doubt that partisanship is a powerful influence on democratic political behavior. But there is also a lively debate on its nature and origins: Is it largely instrumental in nature and shaped by party performance and issues stances? Or is it basically a long-standing expressive identity reinforced by motivated reasoning and strong emotions? We assess the nature of partisanship in the European context, examining the measurement properties and predictive validity of a multi-item partisan identity scale included in national surveys conducted in the Netherlands, Sweden, and the U.K. Using a latent variable model, we show that an eight-item partisan identity scale provides greater information about partisan intensity than a standard single-item and has the same measurement properties across the three countries. In addition, the identity scale better predicts in-party voting and political participation than a measure of ideological intensity (based on both left–right self-placement and agreement with the party on key issues), providing support for an expressive approach to partisanship in several European democracies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Measuring Partisanship as a Social Identity in Multi-Party Systems

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-016-9349-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

There is no doubt that partisanship is a powerful influence on democratic political behavior. But there is also a lively debate on its nature and origins: Is it largely instrumental in nature and shaped by party performance and issues stances? Or is it basically a long-standing expressive identity reinforced by motivated reasoning and strong emotions? We assess the nature of partisanship in the European context, examining the measurement properties and predictive validity of a multi-item partisan identity scale included in national surveys conducted in the Netherlands, Sweden, and the U.K. Using a latent variable model, we show that an eight-item partisan identity scale provides greater information about partisan intensity than a standard single-item and has the same measurement properties across the three countries. In addition, the identity scale better predicts in-party voting and political participation than a measure of ideological intensity (based on both left–right self-placement and agreement with the party on key issues), providing support for an expressive approach to partisanship in several European democracies.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 6, 2016

References

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