Partisanship and age effects in recent democracies: Southern Europe from a comparative perspective

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Series Details Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 493-513
Publication Date July 2015
ISSN 1472-4790
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The formation of partisan identities has been widely studied in advanced democracies, but little is known about the origin and development of partisanship in recent democracies. This article aims to analyze the relationship between age and partisan identities in new democratic regimes by considering the cases of new Southern European countries. In particular, we examine generational, life-cycle and period effects using longitudinal data from 1985 to 2010.

Our results show that the position in the age structure has a significant impact on partisanship, while attitudes towards parties displayed by ‘post-democracy’ generations are different from those of previous cohorts. We also find a negative period effect on partisanship, especially in the last decade. The final section discusses these findings and their implications for the evolution of partisan identities in contemporary European democracies.

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