The study of voting behaviour remains a vibrant sub-discipline of political science. The Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an authoritative and wide ranging survey of this dynamic field, drawing together a team of the world's leading scholars to provide a state-of-the-art review that sets the agenda for future study. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on a range of countries, the handbook is composed of eight parts. The first five cover the principal theoretical paradigms, establishing the state of the art in their conceptualisation and application, and followed by chapters on their specific challenges and innovative applications in contemporary voting studies. The remaining three parts explore elements of the voting process to understand their different effects on vote outcomes. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an essential benchmark publication for advanced students, researchers and practitioners in the fields of politics, sociology, psychology and research methods.
Chapter 20: Turnout
Why do people vote? The theoretical and empirical research conducted during the past 70 years has resulted in numerous responses to this question and in a bewildering number of correlates of voting. People participate in elections because they are interested in politics, are attempting to influence the result, feel pressured by others, become mobilized by churches, voluntary associations, informal social networks, and political organizations, have altruistic objectives, consider voting as a necessity to sustain democracy, or live in competitive districts or in countries that enforce compulsory voting. These are only some examples of a multitude of motivations.
So, why does it matter whether people vote? The level of turnout is often treated ...