This book presents the results of systematic comparative analyses of electoral behavior and support for democracy in 13 countries on four continents. It is based on national election surveys held in "old" and "new" democracies in Europe (Germany, Britain, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria), North and South America (the United States, Chile and Uruguay), and Asia (Hong Kong) between 1990 and 2004. It is methodologically innovative, notwithstanding the fact that its core concern with "political intermediation" (i.e., the flow of political information from parties and candidates to voters through the mass-communications media, membership in secondary associations, and direct, face-to-face contacts within interpersonal networks) was first introduced to the study of electoral behavior by Paul Lazarsfeld and his collaborators in the 1940s. In addition to reviving that long-neglected analytical framework, this book breaks new ground by systematically exploring the impact of socio-political values on electoral behavior.
It also analyzes the role of political intermediation in forming basic attitudes towards democracy (which are crucial for the consolidation of new democracies), and, in turn, channeling those orientations into various forms of political behavior. Some of the findings presented in this volume are dramatic, and clearly reveal that these channels of information are among the most powerful factors influencing the development of political attitudes and partisan electoral behavior. So, too, are socio-political values in some countries (particularly the United States). This volume is the first book-length product of the now 18-country Comparative National Elections Project.
Richard Gunther (Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley) is Professor of Political Science at the Ohio State University, where he has also served as Executive Director of International Studies. He is the international coordinator of the 18-country Comparative National Elections Project, of which this book is a product. Initially an expert on Spanish public policy, he subsequently broadened his research interests to deal with democratic transition and
consolidation, political institutions, parties, and electoral behavior. He has been awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award and the Distinguished Service Award by the Ohio State University.
Hans-Jurgen Puhle (Dr. phil., Freie Universitat Berlin) is Professor of Political Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitat Frankfurt am Main. He has been a Fellow of Harvard and Oxford University, and has tought at the universities of Munster and Bielefeld, at Cornell, Stanford, University of Tel Aviv, Universidad de Chile, FLACSO Buenos Aires, and the Instituto Juan March Madrid. His fields of research are the comparative social and political history of Europe and
the Americas, problems of modernization, comparative politics, state functions in welfare capitalism, political parties, pressure groups and social movements, nationalism and regionalism, regime transformation and problems of democratic consolidation
Jose Ramon Montero (Ph.D., Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain) is Professor of Political Science at the Autonomous University of Madrid and at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Juan March Institute, Madrid. His main research areas are political participation, political parties, political culture, and electoral behaviour. He has been a member of the Standing Committee for the Social Sciences, European Science Foundation, and is currently a member of the
Academia Europea, the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Social Survey, and the Comparative National Elections Project, of which this book is a product