AJPS Author Summary – International Constraints and Electoral Decisions: Does the Room to Maneuver Attenuate Economic Voting?

Author Summary by Spyros Kosmidis

AJPS Author Summary - KosmidisGlobalization influences domestic politics in various ways. A long line of research, for example, indicates that globalization attenuates the economic vote. This is because politicians use ‘globalization’ as a scapegoat to justify their (alleged) limited control over the economy and to shirk responsibility for bad economic outcomes. Due to this ambiguity in assigning political responsibility, voters consequently tend to deemphasize the economy in their electoral considerations. While this globalization-induced erosion of the economic vote has been consistently verified in studies on economic voting, the mechanism behind it has not been subject to experimental testing. Yet such testing is especially warranted given the post-2010 election results in Southern Europe – a region where governments had lost their capacity to implement their preferred economic policy. Notably, these election results and the relevant academic studies reveal that economic voting was strong even when there was no room to maneuver the economy. To test the exact mechanism underpinning the relationship, a simple survey experiment was devised that manipulated political responsibility over economic policy and outcomes. The experiment was conducted in Greece just as the second bailout program was about to end. The results show that while the experimental manipulation was effective, the economic vote remained equally strong across the experimental groups. This carries important implications for party strategies, voting behavior and the quality of democratic interactions.

About the Author: Spyros Kosmidis is a Departmental Lecturer in Quantitative Methods at the University of Oxford in the Department of Politics and International Relations. His research “International Constraints and Electoral Decisions: Does the Room to Maneuver Attenuate Economic Voting?” will appear in a forthcoming issue of the American Journal of Political Science and is now available in Early View.

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The American Journal of Political Science (AJPS) is the flagship journal of the Midwest Political Science Association and is published by Wiley.