Inclusive or Exclusive Elections?: The Citizens Left Out of Democracy

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2021) | Viewed by 6456

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, UK
Interests: political behaviour; political science; voter's psychology; electoral psychology; electoral ergonomics; youth politics; citizenship and identity; European Union; public opinion; extreme right; Western Europe; Europe polling/voting behaviour

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Theoretically, the founding principle of representative democracy is simple: every citizen is equally represented through a right to vote. Yet, social sciences have long known that this simple principle is not necessarily as straightforward in practice. For legal, psychological, technical, social, or even practical reasons, some categories of citizens are either formally unable to access electoral democracy, or largely under-represented in it in practice.

This Special Issue is concerned with cutting-edge research on those citizens who are effectively “left out” of democracy and what makes elections more or less inclusive. Contributions are welcome from all fields of social science regardless of discipline, methodological, or theoretical approach, and empirical and geographical (comparative or single case study) scope. This may notably include legal articles focusing on categories of citizens deprived of the right to vote or of the right to register in elections, studies focusing on specific demographic, social, ethnic, or professional groups which are either under-represented in terms of electoral registration and participation (for instance, young people, economically or socially marginalised groups, homeless people, expatriates, etc.), studies relating to health and disabilities, or studies from the fields of institutions or electoral ergonomics which analyse the response of political systems in order to mitigate the under-representation of specific groups. All approaches are welcome notably including survey-based, experimental or quasi-experimental, qualitative, legal, or policy analyses.

Contributions have to fit into one of the three categories of papers (article, conceptual paper, or review) of the journal and address the topic of the Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Michael Bruter
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

26 pages, 920 KiB  
Article
“Polish People Are Starting to Hate Polish People”—Uncovering Emergent Patterns of Electoral Hostility in Post-Communist Europe
by Anne-Sophie Neyra
Societies 2022, 12(6), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12060176 - 28 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2789
Abstract
Like many societies, Poland seems to be increasingly split by the negative feelings many of its citizens feel towards one another because of the ways in which they vote. This phenomenon is known as electoral hostility. This paper sheds light on what it [...] Read more.
Like many societies, Poland seems to be increasingly split by the negative feelings many of its citizens feel towards one another because of the ways in which they vote. This phenomenon is known as electoral hostility. This paper sheds light on what it entails in political and psychological terms. A unique feature of this research is its methodological approach, combining family focus groups and individual interviews of up to 70 participants. This enables us to uncover critical insights into the perceptions and experiences of first-time voters and their families. It informs us of Poland’s fractious and emotional political atmosphere, but also on the way in which electoral hostility shapes lives in Poland. The findings highlight the importance of mirror perceptions (the perception that others’ hatred justifies our own) in shaping electoral hostility as an emotional sequence which makes many voters progressively see their emotions towards opposite voters deteriorate from misunderstanding to frustration, anger, disgust, and ultimately hatred. Finally, the analysis foregrounds the ways in which Polish voters adapt their behavior in accordance with their own preconceived notions of hostility. These preconceptions can manifest themselves via three possible routes: (1) avoidance, (2) aggression, and (3) a sense of doom, deterioration, and hopelessness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inclusive or Exclusive Elections?: The Citizens Left Out of Democracy)
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27 pages, 362 KiB  
Article
The World Isn’t Fair, but Shouldn’t Elections Be? Evaluating Prospective Beliefs about the Fairness of Elections and Referenda
by Jonathan Rose and Cees van der Eijk
Societies 2022, 12(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12030085 - 28 May 2022
Viewed by 2278
Abstract
Almost all academic literature about the causes and consequences of fairness of elections and referenda is based on retrospective evaluations. One of the strongest findings of such studies is that nonvoting is higher among citizens who retrospectively perceived an election as unfair. However, [...] Read more.
Almost all academic literature about the causes and consequences of fairness of elections and referenda is based on retrospective evaluations. One of the strongest findings of such studies is that nonvoting is higher among citizens who retrospectively perceived an election as unfair. However, on logical grounds, it is impossible to attribute lower rates of voting to retrospectively perceived unfairness because at the time of the vote citizens can only rely on their prospective expectations of fairness. Moreover, it is well documented that retrospective evaluations are strongly influenced by the outcome of the election which is, at the time of voting, still unknown. In view of the dearth of earlier studies on prospective views of electoral fairness, this article presents the first major exploratory analyses of determinants and consequences of prospective expectations of electoral fairness. Using data from Britain about expectations of fairness of three general elections and two referenda in the period between 2014 and 2019, it shows that the public hold mixed views about the fairness they expect to find when voting. The article demonstrates that these prospective fairness beliefs are sometimes noticeably different to retrospective beliefs in terms of their predictors. Moreover, in sharp contrast to literature based on retrospective evaluations, this article also finds that prospective evaluations do not importantly affect the decision to vote. These findings have important implications for how we understand and evaluate the inclusiveness of elections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inclusive or Exclusive Elections?: The Citizens Left Out of Democracy)
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