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Economic Conditions and Electoral Outcomes: The United States and Western Europe

Eulau, Heinz

Published by Algora Publishing
ISBN 10: 0875860729 / ISBN 13: 9780875860725
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Title: Economic Conditions and Electoral Outcomes: ...

Publisher: Algora Publishing

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition: New


1985. Paperback. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780875860725

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Synopsis: Does economics influence elections? How does such influence work? Under what conditions is it more or less likely to occur?

Free, popular elections matter, and they make a difference precisely because, at periodic intervals, they set the limits or constraints within which the interests of business and the interests of the people pursue their political goals. These are the basic ideas addressed in the chapters of this volume.

These questions may appear to be simple, but answering them is difficult. And they may appear to be trivial questions to those who contend that elections in the western democracies are at best placebos that disguise the real dynamics of power in societies still mostly characterized by the capitalist mode of production, even if the economy is directed by government. This is an argument we do not propose to address. We do believe that free, popular elections matter, and that they make a difference precisely because, at periodic intervals, they set the limits or constraints within which capitalist as well as anti-capitalist elites pursue their economic and political goals. To oppose the voice of the people to the people s manipulation by elites, it seems to us, creates an unnecessary dualism.

This dualism is not useful because it cannot come to grips with the question of how and why popular electorates respond as they do to more or less elite-managed economies, and how and why elites in turn take account of or are responsive to whatever messages they may receive from the electorate.


Introduction: Economic Conditions and Electoral Outcomes in Trans-National Perspective (Michael S. Lewis-Beck and Heinz Eulau)
1. Public Attitudes Toward Economic Conditions and Their Impact on Government Behavior (Friedrich Schneider, Aarhus University, Denmark)
2. Party Strategies, World Demand, and Unemployment in Britain and the United States (James E. Alt, Washington University)
3. Perceptions of Economic Performance and Voting Behavior in the 1983 General Election in Britain (Paul Whiteley, University of Bristol, England)
4. Political Change and Stability of the Popularity Function: The French General Election of 1981 (Jean-Dominique Lafay, University of Poitiers, France)
5. Economic Concerns in Italian Electoral Behavior: Toward a Rational Electorate? (Paolo Bellucci, European University Institute, Florence, Italy)
6. Economics, Democracy, and Spanish Elections (Thomas D. Lancaster, Emory University)
7. Economic Effects on the Vote in Norway (Arthur H. Miller, University of Michigan, and Ola Listhaug, University of Trondheim, Norway)
8. Economic Self-Interest and the Vote: Evidence and Meaning (Stanley Feldman, University of Kentucky)
9. Economics, Politics, and the Cycle of Presidential Popularity (Helmut Norpoth, SUNY, Stony Brook)
10. The Voter as Juror: Attributing Responsibility for Economic Conditions (Mark Peffley, Drake University)
11. A Retrospective on Retrospective Voting (D. Roderick Kiewiet and Douglas Rivers, California Institute of Technology)
12. Economic Determinants and Electoral Outcomes: Some Personal Observations (Marie France Toinet, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris)

About the Author: Edited by Heinz Eulau, Stanford University, and Michael Lewis-Beck, University of Iowa. Both have authored many fundamental texts analyzing how votes are won and what tools are used to influence the behavior of the electorate.

Heinz Eulau is the William Bennett Munro Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, Stanford University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he edits the journal Political Behavior, published by Agathon Press. He serves as an Associate Director of ICPSR.

Michael Lewis-Beck is F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa.

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