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Ideology, Nationalism, and Identity in Basque Regional Elections

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Ansolabehere

    () (Government Department, Harvard University)

  • M. Socorro Puy

    () (Department of Economic Theory, Universidad de Málaga)

Abstract

Parliamentary elections to the Basque Autonomous Community have a stable multi-party system that regularly produces long-lived minority and coalition governments. More amazing still, this stable party system arises in the context of a complex social and political setting in which the society cleaves along at least two lines -- left-right ideology and nationalism – and in which people have strong identities tied to the Basque language and culture. This paper analyzes voting behavior in parliamentary elections in this region to understand how the left-right ideology, nationalism, and identity sustain this party system. We extend the conventional spatial voting model to incorporate identity issues. Our empirical analysis shows that left-right ideology, nationalism (or regional autonomy) and identity strongly predict vote choice. Interestingly, the analysis suggests that identity politics both polarizes voting and sustains a stable multi-party system.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Ansolabehere & M. Socorro Puy, 2015. "Ideology, Nationalism, and Identity in Basque Regional Elections," Working Papers 2015-02, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mal:wpaper:2015-2
    as

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    File URL: http://webdeptos.uma.es/THEconomica/malagawpseries/Papers/METCwp2015-2.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Myerson, Roger B., 1999. "Theoretical comparisons of electoral systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 671-697, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Ansolabehere & M. Socorro Puy, 2015. "Issue-salience, Issue-divisiveness and Voting Decisions," Working Papers 2015-01, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Basque-Elections; Multi-Party Elections; Coalition Governments; Positional Issues; Valence Issues; Identity groups;

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