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Which way from left to right?

 

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Type:   Article
 
Titre:   Which way from left to right? : On the relation between voters’ issue preferences and left-right orientation in West European democracies
 
Auteur(s):   Lachat, Romain - Centre de recherches politiques de Sciences Po (Auteur)
 
In:   International Political Science Review
 
Date de publication:   2018-09
 
Éditeur:   ROYAUME-UNI  :  SAGE Publications
 
Volume:   39
 
Numéro:   4
 
Pages:   419-435  p.
 
ISSN:   01925121
 
DOI:   10.1177/0192512117692644
 
Mots-clés:   [en] Vote, Voter
 
Résumé:   [en] The left–right scale is the concept most often used to describe citizens’ and parties’ political positions. Its prevalence suggests that political preferences are structured by a single ideological dimension. However, much research shows that citizens’ issue preferences in Western Europe are structured by two dimensions: economic; and social–cultural. How can a single dimension be sufficient to orient oneself in a two-dimensional political space? This article suggests a solution to this paradox: among citizens, the left–right scale and more concrete political issues are related in a non-linear way. Economic issue preferences should be more strongly related to ideological differences among left-wing citizens (e.g. between extreme-left and centre-left citizens) than among right-wing individuals. The reverse pattern should characterize the relation between sociocultural issues and ideological self-placement. The analysis of 28 elections in five West European countries offers strong support for the hypothesis of a non-linear relation.
 
 

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