The Multiple Two-Dimensional Spaces of Western Electoral Politics in Voters’ Own Words

27.02.2023 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Noam Gidron
Lecturer affiliation: 
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

There is a broad consensus among scholars that the ideological space of Western democracies consists of two distinct dimensions: one economic and the other cultural. In this manuscript, we explore how ordinary citizens make sense of these two dimensions. Analyzing novel survey data collected across 10 Western democracies, we employ text analysis techniques to investigate responses to open-ended questions. We examine variations in how people interpret these two ideological dimensions along three levels of analyses: across countries, based on demographic features, and along the left-right divide. Our results suggest that there are multiple two-dimensional spaces: that is, different groups ascribe different meanings to what the economic and cultural political divides stand for. Our findings make theoretical contributions to the study of electoral politics and political ideology.