The Uncertainty of Turnout: Information and Political Participation in the EU

Martin Kroh

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Turnout as the most frequent form of political participation is often supposed to be linked to a relevant degree of political information of citizens. Non-voting on the other hand, is often assumed to be a decision caused by indifference or uninformedness. These stereotypes notwithstanding, there may be good reasons for informed citizens not to cast a vote, just as uninformed citizens may have good reasons to actually do cast a vote. This paper tries to combine two different views of the effects of political information on electoral participation: (a) the commonplace argument of participatory studies that informed citizens are more likely to take part in the political process and (b) the remark of partisan dealignment approaches that electoral behaviour of modern and cognitive mobilized voters is less stable and predictable. Heteroskedastic Probit models of electoral participation in the European Parliament Election 1994 demonstrate that political information increase the likelihood of turnout and decrease the predictability of the decision at the same time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
Event30th ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops 2002 - University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Duration: 22 Mar 200228 Mar 2002
Conference number: 30


Conference30th ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops 2002


  • IR-61248


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