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Department of Political Science

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1 Department of Political Science
Long-termed determinants of party choice: Social structure and value orientations Lecturer: Oddbjørn Knutsen, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo Department of Political Science

2 Disposition of the lecture
Social structure Concepts The Lipset-Rokkan model The four cleavages New structural cleavages/conflicts Gender Sector employment, and cultural specialists versus technocrats Education Total explanatory power of the structural model Value orientations Various points Department of Political Science

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In this lecture I include in particular two comparative works of my own. A cumulative file of Eurobarometer data from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. The countries included are Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, West Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands (Knutsen 2004; 2006). A cumulative file of the three first rounds of European Social Survey to show the comparative pattern strength of the various social cleavages in 2002–6. The empirical analysis is based on 24 countries. So far only paper for conferences Not mention single-country works, apart from a couple of illustrations from my own country, Norway Department of Political Science

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Concepts Cleavages or conflict lines Previously «cleavages» was used to be identical for the impact of social structure on party choice. The cleavage concept has been much discussed since Bartolini and Mair’s (1990) important work. Cleavages more deep-seated than just having a structural anchorage. An empirical, a normative and an organisational component. Should involve a) social structure, b) values and c) the party, d) could also be an organisation that is closely related to the party The concept “conflict lines” do not imply that the relationships is so deep-seated, and can therefor be considered as a more general concept. Department of Political Science

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“Freezing of party alignments”. With few but significant exceptions, the party systems of the 1960s reflected the cleavage structure of the 1920s (Lipset & Rokkan 1967: 50–54). The freezing hypothesis is basically explained by a strong relationship between the socio-structural variables which Lipset and Rokkan emphasise and party choice. An example of stable alignment. Dealignment means that the impact of the structural cleavage has become smaller. The increased instability in the party system is caused by the fact that voters do not vote according to their location in the social structure to the same degree as previously. Department of Political Science

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Realignment implies the eclipse of old cleavages and the rise of new ones. There is first a dealignment from the old cleavages followed by an alignment related to the new cleavage structure. Sectorial realignment: New structural cleavages and value based conflicts have become more important determinants of party choice. Ecological realignment: Changes in party support follow directly from the changes in social structure. Ecological realignment contributes also to changing political agenda and party strategies. Parties try to appeal to some of the new expanding social groups. Department of Political Science

7 The Lipset-Rokkan model
The National-Religious Revolution 1) The centre–periphery cleavage which was anchored in geographical regions and related to different ethnic and linguistic groups as well as religious minorities. 2) The conflict between the Church and the State which pitted the secular state against the historical privileges of the churches and over control of the important educational institutions. This cleavage has more specifically polarised the religious section against the secular section of the population. The Industrial Revolution 3) The conflict in the labour market which involved owners and employers versus tenants, labourers and workers. 4) Finally, the conflict in the commodity market between buyers and sellers of agricultural products, or more generally, between the urban and the rural population. Department of Political Science

8 Centre-periphery: The changing impact of region on party choice
Lipset and Rokkan: It was a "conflict between the central nation-building culture and the increasing resistance of the ethnically, linguistically and religious subject population in the provinces and peripheries" (Lipset & Rokkan 1967: 14 – emphasis in the original). It was a conflict along a territorial axis during the nation-building process where we found "local oppositions to encroachments of the aspiring or the dominant national elites and their bureaucracies: the typical reaction of the peripheral regions, linguistic minorities and cultural threatening populations to the pressure of the centralising, standardising and 'rationalising' machinery of the nation-state" (1967: 10). Department of Political Science

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Rose, Richard & Derek Urwin (1975): Regional differentiation and political unity in western nations. London and Beverly Hills: Sage. Rose and Urwin (1975): the first broad-based comparative study of regional differences in party support based on aggregate data, i.e. electoral results in the regions. 19 Western democracies and 108 political parties covering the early post-war period (1944–49 for the first election in different countries) to the early 1970s (1969–73). Department of Political Science

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Caramani (2004): The impact of the territorial cleavage from the first democratic elections to 1999 by using data on electoral results in general elections from territorial units. Main finding: The long-term weakening of the territorial cleavage, a change consistent with hypotheses about the nationalization of party politics. The large decline in the impact of the territorial cleavage took place in the period up to World War I, and the period since the 1920s was characterised as a stable territorial configuration. In a long-term perspective, the period since the World War II has been a period of fundamental stability of territorial configurations. Caramani's findings therefore support the Lipset and Rokkan hypothesis of ”freezing of party alignments” from around the 1920s. Department of Political Science

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Why does the electorate in different regions vote for different parties? Knutsen (2010): Survey data from 15 West European countries (European Values Study 1999–2000) Three groups of variables were used as intermediate explanatory variables: other structural variables, various value orientations and territorial identities along a local-national and supranational dimension. Department of Political Science

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The major findings were: a) The three intermediate variables could explain a large portion of the correlations between regions and party choice in the various countries. b) Of the three types of variables other socio-structural variables played the most significant role in explaining the regional variation in voting behaviour, while value orientations had the second strongest role. c) The class variables seem to play a somewhat more important role in explaining the regional cleavage than the religious structural conflict (religious denomination) or urban-rural residence. d) Old Politics values (economic left-right and religious-secular values) played a somewhat larger role than New Politics values in this respect. Department of Political Science

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e) The role of territorial identities was also considerably less important for explaining the regional cleavage than social structure and value orientations. f) There was some evidence that values and territorial identities were more important explanatory variables in three of the countries where the regional cleavage has increased since the 1970s, Belgium, Italy and Spain. Department of Political Science

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Religious voting: The impact of religious denomination and frequency of church attendance The Protestant Reformation The French Revolution: The Christian forces versus the liberals and the socialists The various aspects of religious voting: Belonging: Religious denomination Behaving, practice of faith: Church attendance Believing: accepting religious tenets and doctrines 1 and 2 has traditionally been consider as social structure, but 2 is a bit problematic. 3 belongs to values and beliefs. Department of Political Science

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A somewhat paradoxical situation related to the importance of religion in politics. Only a small number of political issues clearly follow the religious/secular conflict line. By the same token, there are very few issues that are completely divorced from them. Despite the paucity of explicitly religious issues and the lack of religious themes in most campaigns, religious beliefs have proven to be a strong predictor of party choice in many West European democracies. Gordon Smith: the religious cleavage as a passive rather than an active force in shaping political behaviour. Department of Political Science

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The religious cleavage reflects deeply-held human values which have a great potential for influencing behaviour. religious values are related to a wide range of social and political beliefs: work ethics, achievement aspirations, life-style norms, parent-child relations, morality, social relations, attitudes toward authority and acceptance of the state. Religion signifies a Weltanshauung that extends into the political area (Dalton 1990: 86). Department of Political Science

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Empirical research Rose, Richard & Derek Urwin (1969): “Social cohesion, political parties and strains in regimes”, Comparative Political Studies 2: Rose and Urwin (1969) conducted one of the first comparative analyses of the topic, examining the social basis of party support in 16 western democracies. Their finding was that, contrary to conventional wisdom, “religious divisions, not class, are the main social basis of parties in the Western world today” (Rose and Urwin 1969: 12). In a comparative study that included most West European countries, Rose (1974: 16–18) compared the impact of religion, social class and region on left-right voting on the basis of data largely from the 1960s, and found that religion was much more important in all the Catholic and religiously mixed countries. Only in Britain and the Scandinavian countries was social class the most important predictor for left–right party choice. Department of Political Science

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Comparative studies of changes in religious voting over time: The main findings from these studies: There has been a considerable change in the distribution of the religious cleavage variables in the direction of a more secular mass public The correlations between religious variables and party choice has shown a surprising persistence at a high level. For example, Dalton (2008: 159) compares the impact of religion on voting with the impact of social class in a comparative longitudinal study and concludes that “the trends for religious voting do not show the sharp drop-off found for class voting”. See also Elff (2007) Department of Political Science

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However, my own longitudinal study of eight West European countries from the early 1970s to the late 1990s based on Eurobarometer data showed a considerable decline in the impact of religion on party choice in the countries where the religious cleavage had been most pronounced in the 1970s – Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands. Due to this decline there was a trend towards convergence in the impact of the religious variables on party choice at a somewhat lower average level than in the 1970s. There were, however, also signs of a considerable persistence in the impact of religion in the other countries (Knutsen 2004: chap. 2, 3, ). Department of Political Science

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Class voting Social class represents the classic structural cleavage in industrial society. In Lipset and Rokkan’s work the class cleavage was first and foremost a cleavage in the labor market between owners and employers on the one side and tenants, laborers and workers on the other. It sprang out of the Industrial Revolution and proved much more uniformly divisive than the other major cleavages they focused upon. While the center-periphery and the state-church cleavage lines, tended to generate national developments of the party systems in divergent directions, the owner-worker cleavages moved the party system in the opposite direction. "... the owner-worker cleavage tended to bring the party system closer to each other in their basic structure Department of Political Science

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The Russian Revolution, however, also brought about a more divisive party structure caused by the conflict in the labour market (Strong versus weak communist parties) Department of Political Science

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Generations of class voting and different types of class voting: Here different types: 1) “Traditional (left-right) class voting” examines the left-right division of parties and only two social classes (the manual/non-manual division) 2) “Overall or total left-right class voting” examines the left-right voting of all social classes 3) “Total class voting” considers class differences (based on a detailed class schema) in voting between all the parties in the party system The party choice variable has (nearly) always been dichotomized into Left–Right in class voting research (1 and 2). This division can be questioned in advanced industrial societies. Major development: The social basis of the New Left and the New Right Department of Political Science

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The first generations of class voting used a traditional two-class schema between manual workers and all other classes (Nieuwbeerta 1995). More recent class voting studies: More detailed class schemas. Prominent among these schemas is the so-called Erikson/Goldthorpe (hereafter EG) class schema Department of Political Science

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Table 8. The Erikson/Goldthorpe class schema Higher-level service class Higher-grade professionals, administrators and officials, managers in large industrial establishments, large proprietors. Lower-level service class Lower-grade professionals, administrators and officials, higher-grade technicians, managers in small industrial establishments, supervisors of non-manual employees Routine non-manual employees Routine non-manual employees in administration and commerce, sales personnel, other rank-and-file employees Self-employed /petty bourgeoisie Small proprietors with and without employees Skilled workers Lower grade technicians, Supervisors of manual workers, skilled manual workers Unskilled workers Semi- and unskilled manual workers, agricultural workers and other workers in primary production Farmers/self-employed in the primary sector Farmers and small-holders, other self-employed in primary production Source: Erikson and Goldthorpe (1992: 38-39, Table 2.1). Department of Political Science

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30 Measurements of class voting
The Alford index: the percentage difference (PDI) in support for the Left or socialist parties between the manual and the non-manual social classes. The Thomsen index: log-odds ratios (lor) are a better measure of (relative) class voting. This measure, in contrast to the Alford Index, is insensitive to changes in the overall support for parties or party groups. For analyses of more parties and social classes: The kappa-index: The kappa index calculates several log-odds ratios between a reference category on the class variable and each of the other classes and uses the standard deviation of these log-odds ratios as a measure of class voting. Multinomial logistic regression Department of Political Science

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Trends in Class Voting The debate about trends in class voting: British and American researchers who studied their own country, versus researchers who used comparative data. Absolute versus relative class voting: Percentage difference measures versus log odds ratio (lor) or more general (multinomial) logistic regression. Nieuwbeerta’s (1995) pioneering work is the most extensive analysis of class voting in a comparative perspective. Nieuwbeerta studied class voting in 20 countries over time, and, based on 324 class voting tables in the time span , found that the correlation between the Alford Index and the log-odds ratios (Thomsen Index) was Clear decline in class voting based on Alford and Thomsen index and also kappa index with the EG (P)-classes. The same was my conclusion based on analyses of trends in 8 countries from the late 1970s to the late 1990s (Knutsen 2006). Department of Political Science

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The conflict in the commodity market: The voting pattern of the peasant class and urban–rural contrasts The other class cleavage: the conflict in the commodity market between peasants and others employed in the primary sector and those who wanted to purchase products from the primary sector, particularly the urban population. This is then essentially an urban–rural conflict. Such conflicts did not invariably prove party-forming. They could be dealt with within broad party fronts or could be channelled through interest organisations into more narrow arenas of functional representation and bargaining. There are generally two aspects of the commodity market conflict: a) How the class of farmers (and other self-employed in the primary sector) vote compared to other social classes, and b) the differences in voting behaviour between the urban and the rural population Department of Political Science

37 Department of Political Science
Rokkan’s model of electoral fronts for Norwegian and Nordic party politics Rokkan developed a more elaborate model based on the two economic cleavages in an important work on the Norwegian cleavage structure (Rokkan 1966: 89–105). Pole L: The workers and their unions Issues/concerns: Wages, pensions, social security, welfare Organisations: Trade unions and their union confederations Parties: Labour/Social Democratic P. Pole F: Farmers (and self-employed in other primary industries) and their organisations Issues/concerns: Prices, subsidies, toll protection and restrictions on import of provisions/food Organisation: Farmers' League Parties: Agrarian/Centre Parties in Finland Norway and Sweden, Agrarian Liberals in Denmark, Progress Party in Iceland. Department of Political Science

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Pole B: Trade and industry/employers Issues/concerns Prices, taxes and fees, economic regulations Organisations: Trade/employer associations and their confederations. Parties: Conservative P., Independence P. in Iceland Source: Rokkan (1966: 92-94, Figure 3-3). Department of Political Science

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Outside the Nordic countries: The population in rural areas is generally more conservative and religious than the urban population, and vote for Christian and also Conservative parties. They have traditional and Christian values As to the urban–rural contrasts in voting behaviour, the conclusions of my eight-nation study: the strength of the urban-rural cleavage was declining somewhat but was still of considerable importance in West European countries. Christian parties gain their strongest support from farmers compared to all other social classes gaining (50-70 %) (Knutsen 2006: 53-66) and in the Nordic countries the Centre parties are clear class parties in accordance with Rokkan’s model of electoral fronts (Knutsen 2004: 65–73) Department of Political Science

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42 Gender: From the traditional to the modern gender gap
The traditional gender gap: Women were more inclined to vote for religious and conservative parties and less inclined to vote for socialist parties. Explanations: Private” orientations associated with religion and family responsibilities were identified as the basis for these differences. Less integrated into the work force and the working class organisations Main explanation in empirical studies: religiosity Modern gender gap: Women vote more leftist and radical than men Explanations: Structural factors: Work force participation, low wage, location in the class structure, sector employment )public) Cultural factors: Value orientations Department of Political Science

43 Department of Political Science
Inglehart and Norris (2000; 2003: chap. 4): a developmental theory of the gender gap or of gender realignment. According to this theory there will be systematic differences in the gender gap between societies based on their level of political and economic development, within societies there will differences between generations, and the explanations of the gender differences will be found in structural and cultural factors. The modern gender gap in advanced industrial societies, cultural factors seems to explain the gender gap better than structural factors (Inglehart and Norris 2000: ). Department of Political Science

44 Department of Political Science
A comparative longitudinal study based on election data from the three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) from the 1970s to the late 1990s, focused on the working population (Knutsen 2001): Women increasingly supported the Left Socialist and Green parties more so than men. On the other hand, men disproportionally and increasingly supported the Conservative and Radical Rightist parties. In a causal analyse, social class and sector employment intermediate variables to explain the gender gaps, from 30% to 75% of the gender gap for voting for the left socialist and rightist parties could be explained by the fact that women worked in the public sector to a much large degree than men. Sector employment, not class location, explained the gender voting gap (Knutsen 2001: 338­-344). Sector employment was, however, a much larger determinant of party choice in the Scandinavian countries than gender. Department of Political Science

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47 Sector employment/ social and cultural specialist and the technocrats
Sector employment public versus the private sector location The structural basis for the sector conflict: The different economic interests of employees in the two sectors: the financing of wages and the organisations Cognitive conditions connected with different educational backgrounds and occupational experiences. “Trilemma of the service economy”, between wage inequality, budgetary restrains and employment put forward by Iversen and Wren (1998) The neoliberal model, problem with equality The Christian or conservative model: problem with employment The social democratic model: problem with budgetary restrains. Department of Political Science

48 Department of Political Science
From the above discussion that the following may be expected. a) Sector employment will have an impact on party choice. Public employees will vote for the parties of the left, and primarily left socialist and green parties. b) The impact of sector will be largest within the higher educated and the service class. - awareness of social problems - professional ethics and educational background c) The impact of sector will be largest in social democratic welfare regimes due to the higher level of political conflict coupled with the welfare services in these countries. General support for these hypotheses in comparative research. Department of Political Science

49 Department of Political Science
My own study (Knutsen 2005) of the impact of sector employment on party choice in eight West European countries based on data from 1988 to 1994 strongly supported these expectations. Similar findings have been made in studies which are based on the Bureau Voting Model (BVM): Government employees will: have more leftist economic attitudes, vote more frequently for leftist parties and have a higher level of electoral participation than those in the private sector. Considerable support for the model, However: It is not public administration employees who contribute to the overall sector cleavage; but the largest segment in the public sector, those in public health and education, and also those in public service production that do so. Those who work in public administration do not differ from the private employees with regard to leftist attitudes and voting behaviour. Department of Political Science

50 Social and cultural specialists versus the technocrats
The theory of division between so-called social and cultural specialists versus the technocrats. This theory claims that a “new” class of knowledge workers has emerged and gained power in advanced industrial society. This new class is differentiated from the old class of technocrats (managers and administrators) The social and cultural specialists generally work in the public sector. Their work tasks are relatively less controllable than the technocrats. The social-cultural occupations require skills to serve people’s need and well-being in society. Department of Political Science

51 Department of Political Science
The criteria for distinguishing between the new class of social and cultural specialist and the “old” class of technocrats (Güveli et al 2007a: 132) are twofold. The first criterion is difficulty in monitoring the task performance by employee; the second criterion has two components: whether an occupation has a feature of social service, and/or whether it needs social and cultural specialist knowledge to perform the task well. Occupations do not need to have both components to be classified as social and cultural specialist; one is sufficient. Department of Political Science

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The empirical analyses which document the political consequences of this differentiation are based on Dutch data from 1970 to The main findings are the social and cultural specialists (within the service class) are more inclined to vote for the leftist parties, and in particular for the New Left parties than the technocrats. The differences increase over time and persist when controlling for education and sector employment (Güveli et al. 2007a: 139–141; see also Kriesi 1998). Department of Political Science

53 Education as the structural base for the New Politics cleavage
New Politics conflicts contributes to structural dealignment and realignment. Libertarian/authoritarian values locate the working class and the lower educated strata close to the authoritarian pole and the service class and the higher educated strata close to the libertarian pole. Education is most important structural determinant along the new value conflict Libertarian/authoritarian values are the central explanation for the new politics conflict dimension between the New Left (Greens and socialist left parties) and the New Right (radical rightist parties) Stubager work will be discussed in more details under value orientations Department of Political Science

54 Total explanatory power of the structural model
The decline of cleavage politics Knutsen 1994: Figure 7.4: The combined impact on party choice (nominal level variable, all significant parties), Pseudo R2 (Nagelkerke) from multinomial logistic regressions Decline in the four countries where social structure had the largest impact, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Italy, and in addition France, but not in Britain, Ireland and Germany Convergence ____ Figure 7.9: The combined impact on left-right party choice. Pseudo R2 (Nagelkerke) from logistic regressions Stronger decline, on average about 50% from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Convergence, clearer patterns than for all parties Department of Political Science

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Literature (not outlined in the overview of the lecture) Bartolini, S The political mobilization of the European left, The class cleavage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dalton, Russell J. (1990): 'Religion and party alignment', pp in Risto Sänkiaho et al.: People and their polities. Jyväskylä: The Finnish Political Science Association. Dalton, Russell J. (2008): Citizen politics. Public opinion and political parties in advanced western democracies. 5th ed. CQ Press Erikson, Robert & John H. Goldthorpe (1992): The constant flux. A study of class mobility in industrial societies. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Department of Political Science

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Iversen, Torben and Anna Wren (1998): “Equality, employment, and budgetary restraint. The trilemma of the service economy”, World Politics 50: Knutsen, Oddbjørn (2001): “Social Class, Sector Employment and Gender as Political Cleavages in the Scandinavian Countries. A Comparative Longitudinal Study, ”, Scandinavian Political Studies 24 (4) 2001: Rokkan, Stein (1966): “Norway: Numerical democracy and corporate pluralism”, in Robert A: Dahl (ed.): Political oppositions in Western democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press. Rose, Richard (ed.) (1974): Electoral behaviour: A comparative handbook. New York: The Free Press. Department of Political Science


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