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Political culture as contextual factor

Open Panel

Abstract

Since the publication in 1963, the book Civic Culture has give inspiration to studies on the importance of political culture and political orientations. However, few studies have been devoted to questions about how political culture (aggregated level) and political orientations (individual level) interacts which each other. Political culture and political orientations has instead been analyzed separated. As a consequence, political culture as contextual factor for individual participation has seldom been analyzed. For example, does individuals with low political interest participate in election in higher degree if they are living in a community with high interest than if they are living in communities with low interest? This paper presents analyses that investigate how election participation is affected by political orientations and political culture. Four set of analyses is presented. The first investigates the importance of political orientations on election participation at individual level. The second set examines the importance of political culture (as aggregated political orientations) on voter turnout at national level. After these two conventional set of analyses, the paper presents multilevel analyses that integrate political orientations and political culture to explain election participation on individual level. The last analyses integrate political orientations and political culture on municipality level. This set of analyses uses material from one extensive survey conducted among 55 Swedish municipalities, while the other analyses are based on cross-national survey. In addition to comparing correlations on the different levels, the paper will compare the importance of political culture as contextual factor at national and local levels.