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7. Voting Behavior and Public Opinion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an overview of research on public opinion and voting behavior that is located at the intersection of several academic disciplines, including political science, psychology, and sociology. The overview starts by addressing research on voting behavior. The chapter presents key models of voter choice and summarizes key findings. It then turns to the question of long-term electoral change. The chapter deals with research on public opinion, therein, the results of classic studies are presented as well as the debates they engendered. It turns to the issue of the sources of public opinion and the implications of the respective findings for the notion of public opinion. The chapter explores recent developments and suggests directions for future research, both in substantive and methodological terms. Finally, the chapter summarizes key findings and discusses implications for the role of citizens in democracy.

Keywords: electoral change; modern democracy; public opinion; voting behavior



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