Research Handbook on Political Partisanship
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Research Handbook on Political Partisanship

Edited by Henrik Oscarsson and Sören Holmberg

Based on cutting-edge global data, the Research Handbook of Political Partisanship argues that partisanship is down, but not out, in contemporary democracies. Engaging with key scholarly debates, from the rise of right-wing partisanship to the effects of digitalization on partisanship, contributions highlight the significance of political partisanship not only in the present but in the future of democracies internationally.
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Chapter 25: Beyond party identification

Eric Guntermann


The chapter shows that partisanship is about more than identifying with a single party over a long period of time. It begins by showing that twice as many citizens have meaningful party ratings than identify with a party, as measured using a conventional indicator of party identification in cross-national surveys. It then shows that citizens’ reactions to election results are partly determined by their ratings of parties, and not only by their party identification or vote choice. They become more satisfied with the working of democracy when a preferred outcome replaces a less preferred outcome. Finally, it shows that parties influence citizens’ opinions regardless of whether they identify with a party as long as there is conflict between parties. The author concludes that, to fully account for the influence of partisanship, scholars should avoid limiting themselves to considering identification with a single party.

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