Regional elections in multi-level systems

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Series Details Vol.10, No.3, July 2003, p199-212
Publication Date July 2003
ISSN 0969-7764
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Article abstract:

This article sets out to find ways of analysing the relationship of regional and statewide electoral processes in multi-level systems. First, we analyse a number of 'top down' approaches with the aim of assessing how and when statewide issues are perceived as shaping regional election outcomes. Second, we discuss a 'bottom up' approach in which the importance of territorial politics can be measured. Both of these approaches, although not originally developed for use in this particular context, provide at least initial techniques for mapping out the dynamics of multi-level voting. They test for the subordination of regional elections to the electoral rhythms of statewide politics as well as exploring how different patterns of voting behaviour compare from region to region and from election to election. Finally, we move on to apply these two basic models to the cases of Germany, Canada and Spain, illustrating that in contexts which lack deep territorial cleavages, regional and statewide election results are broadly similar. However, in territorially heterogeneous environments, this pattern of subordination of regional elections is broken up by territorially specific influences.

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