Democratic Maturity, External Efficacy, and Participation in Elections: Towards Macro-Micro Interaction

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Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft/Austrian Journal of Political Science
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Political sciences
Keywords voter turnout democratic maturity external efficacy multilevel modeling crosslevel interaction
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Description This paper analyzes how the age of a democracy matters when explaining voter turnout. It proposes that democratic maturity might influence the probability of casting a ballot not only directly, but at the same time, as an amplifier of the effects of individual-level predictors of voting. From an array of variables that might be responsible for raising or lowering one’s probability of voting, this study emphasizes that the impact of a sense of external efficacy can be contingent on the different levels of democratic age. Theoretically, the ties between democratic maturity and external efficacy in turnout explanation follow from aspects of political socialization process. We hypothesize that the higher the democratic age, the higher the positive effect of external efficacy on participation in elections. This supposition is tested through an empirical analysis based on survey data from the third module of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). In total, the dataset comprises 34,440 respondents nested in 27 countries. Multilevel logistic regression that includes cross-level interaction is employed to estimate the effects of the variables of interest on self-reported turnout.
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