Intra-party heterogeneity in policy preferences and its effect on issue salience: Developing and applying a measure based on elite survey data

Steiner, Nils D. ; Mader, Matthias

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2019
The title of a journal, publication series: Party Politics
Volume: 25
Issue number: 3
Page range: 336-348
Place of publication: London [u.a.]
Publishing house: Sage Publ.
ISSN: 1354-0688 , 1460-3683
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Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department B
School of Social Sciences > Politische Wissenschaft, Politische Psychologie (Schoen 2014-)
Subject: 320 Political science
Abstract: Quantitative research on party politics often has to assume that parties are unitary actors with homogeneous policy preferences simply because intra-party heterogeneity is difficult to measure. This article proposes a measure of preference heterogeneity based on surveys of party elites. We draw on Comparative Candidates Survey (CCS) data from 28 elections in 21 developed democracies to quantify intra-party heterogeneity and validate this measure. The usefulness of the measure is demonstrated by studying the effects of intra-party heterogeneity on issue salience. We find support for the hypothesis that heterogeneity regarding a policy issue tends to be negatively associated with the emphasis a party places on that issue by regressing measures of issue salience from the Chapel Hill Expert Survey and the Manifesto Project on our CCS measure of heterogeneity. Problems of elite surveys notwithstanding, drawing on this data source seems a promising way to overcome the unitary party assumption.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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