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.

Campaign Effects

Campaign Effects

Campaign Effects
Richard Johnston


Electoral campaigns are critical for signals about both accountability and policy. But the research record yields very partial views of how – or whether – campaigns actually matter. Broadly, two schools can be identified. On one side, elections are driven by predictable ‘fundamental’ forces that campaigns merely activate. On the other side, campaigns are critical to the result and produce history in their own right. The fundamentalist perspective is essentially benign: more intense campaigns bring out more voters; negative claims are more truthful than positive ones; elections without campaigns would be far more random events than are elections with them. The rival view holds that campaigns are too long and too expensive and are sites ...

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