Bio: Oddbjørn Knutsen is an academic researcher from University of Oslo. The author has contributed to research in topics: Cleavage (politics) & Social class. The author has an hindex of 22, co-authored 37 publications receiving 1368 citations.
TL;DR: The authors examined the meaning of the left-right self-placement scale from the early 1970s to 1990, and found that the meanings of left and right changed during the last twenty years.
Abstract: . Have the meanings of ‘left’ and ‘right’ changed during the last twenty years? In this article the ten-point left-right self-placement scale is correlated with three central value orientations (religious/secular, economic left-right and materialist/post-materialist values) to examine whether associations between these value orientations and the self-placement scale have changed from the early 1970s to 1990. Four theories about the changing meaning of the left-right language are presented. These theories about the irrelevance, persistence, transformation and pluralisation of the meaning of left and right are tested by using Eurobarometer data from eight West European countries and the second wave of the European Value Study from 1990. The data provide strong support for pluralisation theory. Left-right semantics have an impressive absorptive power, describing an over-arching spatial dimension capable of incorporating many types of conflict. Left-right semantics are significantly correlated with religious/secular values, remain highly correlated with the dominant industrial value orientations (economic left-right values), and are increasingly associated with materialist/post-materialist value orientations. The new meanings of left and right are added to the old meanings.
TL;DR: In this article, the impact of religious denomination on party choice is studied in eight western European countries from the early 1970s to the late 1990s, and the authors examine the strength of the correlation between party choice and religious denomination over time.
Abstract: In this article, the impact of religious denomination on party choice is studied in eight western European countries from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. The research problems are (1) to examine the strength of the correlation between party choice and religious denomination over time, and (2) to analyze which political parties those who are affiliated and those who are unaffiliated to a religious community vote for, and how this has changed over time. The denominational cleavage varies considerably in strength in the eight countries. It is strongest in the Catholic and religiously mixed countries of Continental Europe. There is stability in the correlation between party choice and religious denomination in most countries. The main polarization involves, to a large degree, voters for parties on the left versus voters for parties on the right. It varies considerably, however, as to which parties on the left and the right have voters who contribute comparatively to polarization. Green parties are making i...
TL;DR: In this paper, a comparative analysis of the relationship between party choice, value orientations and left-right self-placement is presented, based on eight and thirteen countries from 1981 and 1990, respectively.
Abstract: This article takes Ronald Inglehart's and Hans-Dieter Klingemann's (1976) study regarding party and ideological components of left-right identification as a point of departure for a comparative analysis of the relationship between party choice, value orientations and left-right self-placement. The empirical analysis is based on eight and thirteen countries from 1981 and 1990, respectively. Party choice is still the dominant predictor of left-right self-placement although its dominance is not as large as was shown in Inglehart and Klingemann's analysis. However, if value orientations are considered prior to party choice in a causal sense, value orientations have a larger impact than party choice in most countries. Fragmentation of the party system and the division between advanced and less advanced societies are used to explain the cross-national variations. When the explained variance in the left-right scale is decomposed into unique components explained by party choice and value orientations and a compou...
TL;DR: In this paper, different approaches for identifying empirical cleavage dimensions and concluding that a so-called cleavage-defined approach is most appropriate for identifying and interpreting party dimensions are discussed.
Abstract: The present article discusses different approaches for identifying empirical cleavage dimensions and concludes that a so-called cleavage-defined approach is most appropriate for identifying and interpreting party dimensions. It is further argued that discriminant analysis is a powerful statistical tool for analyzing cleavage dimensions in accordance with a cleavage-defined approach. Using different structural variables that are incorporated in the Lipset-Rokkan model for party cleavages in Western Europe, and two ideological dimensions (called left-right materialism and materialism/postmaterialism) as “input” for the dimensional analyses, data from Norway and the European Community countries (based on Euro-Barometer 16 from 1981) are analyzed and related to the comparative literature on cleavage structure in Western Europe.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors studied the changing impact of social class, sector employment, and gender with regard to party choice in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, from the 1970s to the 1990s, using election survey data.
Abstract: This article studies the changing impact of social class, sector employment, and gender with regard to party choice in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, from the 1970s to the 1990s, using election survey data. Political parties in the three countries are grouped into four party groups: left socialist, social democratic, centrist, and rightist parties. Class voting has declined in all three countries. The focus on the four party groups shows that differences between the wage-earner classes have declined for the social democratic and rightist party groups. By contrast, ‘class voting’ has increased for the left socialist parties, which increasingly have concentrated their support among the new middle class. Sector employment became an important party cleavage in all three countries in the 1990s. The impact of sector was generally largest in Denmark and Norway in the 1980s and 1990s. The sector cleavage also follows the left–right division of parties to a greater degree than previously. Sector differences in voting behaviour are most pronounced with regard to voting for the left socialist and the rightist parties. Gender differences in voting behaviour have increased and changed character in all three countries. In the 1970s, men supported the socialist parties to a greater extent than women; in the 1990s men supported the rightist parties to a greater extent than women in all three countries, whereas women supported the left socialist parties and (in Sweden) the Green Party to a greater degree than men. The effects of gender are generally reduced when sector employment is introduced into the multivariate analysis, indicating that the different sector employment of men and of women explains part of the gender gap in voting behaviour.
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TL;DR: Mudde as mentioned in this paper offers critical and original insights into three major aspects of European populist radical right parties: concepts and classifications; themes and issues; and explanations for electoral failures and successes.
Abstract: As Europe enters a significant phase of re-integration of East and West, it faces an increasing problem with the rise of far-right political parties. Cas Mudde offers the first comprehensive and truly pan-European study of populist radical right parties in Europe. He focuses on the parties themselves, discussing them both as dependent and independent variables. Based upon a wealth of primary and secondary literature, this book offers critical and original insights into three major aspects of European populist radical right parties: concepts and classifications; themes and issues; and explanations for electoral failures and successes. It concludes with a discussion of the impact of radical right parties on European democracies, and vice versa, and offers suggestions for future research.
TL;DR: This review examines recent theory and research concerning the structure, contents, and functions of ideological belief systems and considers the consequences of ideology, especially with respect to attitudes, evaluations, and processes of system justification.
Abstract: Ideology has re-emerged as an important topic of inquiry among social, personality, and political psychologists. In this review, we examine recent theory and research concerning the structure, contents, and functions of ideological belief systems. We begin by defining the construct and placing it in historical and philosophical context. We then examine different perspectives on how many (and what types of) dimensions individuals use to organize their political opinions. We investigate (a) how and to what extent individuals acquire the discursive contents associated with various ideologies, and (b) the social-psychological functions that these ideologies serve for those who adopt them. Our review highlights “elective affinities” between situational and dispositional needs of individuals and groups and the structure and contents of specific ideologies. Finally, we consider the consequences of ideology, especially with respect to attitudes, evaluations, and processes of system justification.
TL;DR: The authors show that there is a strong relationship between the conventional left/right dimension and party positioning on European integration, and that the most powerful source of variation in party support is the new politics dimension, ranging from Green/alternative/libertarian to Traditional/authoritarian/nationalist.
Abstract: How is contestation on European integration structured among national political parties? Are issues arising from European integration assimilated into existing dimensions of domestic contestation? We show that there is a strong relationship between the conventional left/right dimension and party positioning on European integration. However, the most powerful source of variation in party support is the new politics dimension, ranging from Green/alternative/libertarian to Traditional/authoritarian/nationalist.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore the possibilities and limits of partisan influence on public policy in democratic nations and suggest that the extent to which parties influence public policy is to a significant extent contingent upon the type of democracy and counter-majoritarian institutional constraints of central state government.
Abstract: This essay explores the possibilities and limits of partisan influence on public policy in democratic nations. It will be pointed out, that differences in party composition of govern- ment, in general, matter in public policy in constitutional democracy. However, the extent to which parties influence public policy is to a significant extent contingent upon the type of democracy and countermajoritarian institutional constraints of central state government. Large partisan effects typify majoritarian democracies and states, in which the legislature and the executive are 'sovereign'. More complex and more difficult to identify is the partisan influence on public policy in consensus democracies and in states, in which the political-institutional circumstances allow for co-governance of the opposition party. Narrowly circumscribed is the room to manoeuvre available to incumbent parties above all in political systems which have been marked by countermajoritarian institutional pluralism or institutional 'semi-sovereignty'. The article suggests, that it would be valuable if direct effects and interaction effects of the party composition of government and state structures featured more prominently in future research on comparative public policy.