Universität zu Köln

European Inclusion: Electoral Differences and Individual Participation in European Parliament Elections

Netscher, Sebastian (2015) European Inclusion: Electoral Differences and Individual Participation in European Parliament Elections. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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    This book investigates electoral procedures and their effects on individual participation in different elections within multi–level political systems. My basic research expectation is that electoral differences – i.e. differences in electoral procedures, for example between the 2009 European Parliament (EP) election and the previous national parliamentary elections in the member states of the European Union (EU) – reduce the individual understanding and thus participation in the EP election. As I show, the individual voter knows less about the EU than about her domestic politics, due to the EU’s lower political salience. Instead, the multi–level structure of the EU and its member states enables the individual to resort to political knowledge acquired on the domestic level, using it as a proxy for knowledge of the EU. That is, the individual employs a domestic perspective on the EU. But electoral differences cause this domestic perspective to fail, due to inappropriate reliance on other political knowledge. As a consequence, individual political knowledge about the EU is lower, reducing the individual understanding of the EU and the EP election. On the one hand, this lower understanding implies that political knowledge is more relevant in the context of electoral differences. It increases the individual’s awareness of electoral differences, enabling her to overcome the consequences of such differences for the EU and the EP election. On the other hand, electoral differences also mean that greater political knowledge has a demobilizing effect. If the consequences of the differences are not in line with the individual’s political preferences, they discourage her from casting a ballot for the EP. In short, electoral differences matter, diminishing the individual understanding of the EU and reducing individual participation in the EP election.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Netscher, Sebastiansebastian.netscher@gesis.org
    URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-59349
    Subjects: Political science
    Uncontrolled Keywords:
    European Parliament elections, electoral differences, electoral participation, political knowledgeEnglish
    Faculty: Wirtschafts- u. Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
    Divisions: Wirtschafts- u. Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät > Seminar für Politische Wissenschaft
    Language: English
    Date: 2015
    Date Type: Publication
    Date of oral exam: 30 January 2015
    Full Text Status: Public
    Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 15:09:14
    NameAcademic Title
    Kaiser, AndréProf. Dr.
    Dülmer, HermannPD. Dr.
    URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/5934

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