• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This accessible textbook provides a comprehensive introduction and guide to theories of voting and electoral behaviour. By carefully presenting and explaining the major technical and methodological advances made in voting studies, the text serves to provide a complete review of the different approaches and techniques that have characterized this area of study from its origins to the present day. The book includes separate chapters on abstention and electoral competition, and employs a range of empirical examples from a number of countries. It concludes by looking at how voting studies might evolve in the future.

Introduction
Introduction

Looking at the vast literature dedicated to the analysis of voting behaviour and its context, it is sometimes difficult to work out exactly what kind of activity voting is. On the one hand books on democracy and democratic theory present voting as a unique activity which forms the bedrock of political equality and civic rights in our society. People have fought and died for the right to vote, and in some countries continue to do so. As the pinnacle of power in democratic societies, would-be prime ministers and presidents devote much of their lives in pursuit of office, spending time and money to win the support of the voting public. The apparently increasing failure of many individuals to participate in this selection of leaders ...

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