Political Preference Formation and Partisan Divides. September 1, 2009


Invited Lectures ; Herbert Kitschelt and Philipp Rehm ; Abstract: This paper outlines a theory of political preference formation and its predictions for electoral dynamics in OECD countries. We first argue that political preferences relate to one of three analytically distinct areas. ‘Groupness’ relates to questions of membership: who is in, who is out? ‘Gridness’ relates to procedural questions: what’s legitimate, what not? ‘Distributional’ questions relate to authoritative policy making: who gets what from whom? We then provide an account about the determinants of preferences over issues of group, grid, and distribution. We focus on three factors: an individual’s insertion into the labor market (covariates of occupations), an individual’s position in the family sphere (gender), and an individual’s associational memberships (unions and churches). Finally, we examine cross-national and, especially, over-time variation of the three principle locations of preference formation (work, family, leisure) and ask, how the observed trends and differences help us in explaining differences in electoral dynamics across OECD countries.

Service Performed By


  • September 1, 2009

Location or Venue

  • Boston, APSA meeting