Social cleavages and electoral support in Turkey -- toward convergence?
Studies on Western democracies have shown that deep-seated social cleavages stabilize the electoral behavior and thus reduce electoral volatility. But how do social cleavages affect a party system that is undergoing democratic consolidation, such as in Turkey? In this study, investigations were carried out on long- and short-term relationships between social cleavages (religiosity, ethnicity, and sectarism) and electoral volatility in Turkey during the 1961-2002 period. Cross-sectional multiple regressions were applied to electoral and demographic data at the provincial level. The results showed that in the long-term, social cleavages on the whole have increased volatility rather than reduced it. The cleavage-volatility relationship, however, has changed over time. Repeated elections have mitigated the volatile effect of social cleavages on the voting behavior, as political parties have become more representative of the existent social cleavages.
Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
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