Středoevropské politické studie / Central European Political Studies Review www.journals.muni.cz/cepsr Ročník XX (2018), Číslo 1, s.
(c)Mezinárodní politologický ústav / International Institute ofPolitical Science
Sona N. Golder, Ingacio Lago, André Blais, Elisabeth Gidengil, and Thomas Gschwend:
Oxford: ECPR and Oxford University Press. 1st ed., 2017, 211 pages.
Second, in contrast to the original theory, the present analysis takes into account the party level. The standard model of
1Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.
Golder et al.:
The book consists of 8 chapters, with the most important findings to be found in chapters
The third chapter provides some specifics of the countries under scrutiny. It outlines differences in electoral rules, regime types and party systems between the selected countries. It also focuses on differences between electoral systems on each level of governance. Golder et al.’s analysis also reflects some specifics of political behaviour in each country, as well as varying economic and political circumstances.
In the next three chapters, Golder et al. present the results of their research. In the fourth chapter, they analyse mobilization, in order to find out if party behaviour is important for studying
Chapter 5 deals with turnout in
Chapter 6 presents the results of analysis of strategic and sincere types of voting. The author’s basic aim is to refute the claim that voters vote strategically if they choose different party in different types of election, with the aim of finding a deeper explanation. They tested their theory on the individual, regional and party levels (where the latter is unique for such type of research). The results show that most voters simply vote for their candidate or party (i.e. do not vote strategically). Still, there are some who deviate from their most preferred option. There are three reasons for such behaviour, as confirmed by Golder et al.’s research. The first is that some voters try to avoid wasting their vote and decide to vote more a successful (larger) party. This trend is more frequent if the electoral system is less permissive. At the party level, larger parties profit from this. The second reason is the higher probability that larger parties have of taking control of the post of the prime minister, or at least of a governmental position. However, this is more pronounced in national elections.2 The final reason is that voters clearly realize that they spread out their vote (i.e. vote strategically). Voters who do not have a strong preference for one party spread they vote strategically, in order to distribute the impact of ideological governmental decisions to different levels (regional, national, and European).
2Except for Spain, where there is such a trend also on the regional level.
Golder et al.:
economic situation. If economic situation deteriorates, voters “punish” governmental parties by not voting for them. This can be seen on different electoral levels, but with different dynamics. While voters are able to use subnational and European elections as a vehicle for delivering a message to the national government, this mechanism does not work in the opposite direction: Voters by and large do not punish parties on national level for worse economic situation at regional levels. The perception of corruption has a similar impact.
The conclusion to this book offers a discussion of the results. The authors see them as confirming the assumption of the
To sum up, this book presents new findings in the field of election studies. The topic of
As regards the weaker spots of the book, let me mention the framing of some results or conclusions which are presented as universally confirmed and valid – whereas the data had been collected only for three European Union countries. This raises the question whether they can be easily generalised to other countries, regions etc. Further, while the compilation of the dataset itself is unproblematic, there are other limits to the interpretations suggested by the authors which they unfortunately do not entertain in any serious fashion.
All in all, the book amply demonstrates how important it is for researchers in the field of election studies to take into account different levels of elections: The
main reason is that these levels mutually impact each other. Also, Golder et al. document that it is crucial to look not only at voter behaviour but also at behaviour of political parties. Both actors are important and, again, influence each other. This is why the book provides unique findings which will prove essential for future study of
Havlík, Vlastimil a Eva Jogheeová. 2010. “Volby do Evropského parlamentu v roce 2009 optikou konceptu voleb druhého řádu.” Evropská volební studia 5(2):
Charlie, Jeffery a Daniel Hough. 2001. “The Electoral Cycle and
Pallarés, Francesc a Michael Keating. 2003.