Review of "Political Choice Matters. Explaining the Strength of Class and Religious Cleavages in Cross-National Perspective" par EVANS, Geoffrey et DE GRAAF, Nan Dirk, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013
European Sociological Review
GB : Oxford University Press
1 - 4 p.
This book revives a long-standing debate about the social bases of politics and their declining impact on party choice in Western democracies. In the 1970s, belonging to the working class still considerably increased the probability of voting for the Left. The transition to a post-industrial society, with the decline of the manufacturing sector, the expansion of a service-based economy, and the transformation of social democratic parties into middle-class parties, has loosened the links between manual workers and the Left, and fuelled a debate about the death of ‘class voting’ (Evans, 1999). Meanwhile, a process of individualization and secularization has loosened the political influence of religious affiliations and precepts that used to favour right-wing inclinations (Knutsen, 2010). Social cleavages, which Lipset and Rokkan (1967) saw as ‘frozen’ at the end of the 1960s, have blurred, and lost their ability to structure individual voting choice (Franklin et al., 1992). If this is by now a well-established fact, few studies though have gone beyond the mere description of the process, to explain it in a satisfactory way.[First lines]