There is a growing recognition that health influences an individual’s political participation, partisanship and policy preferences. Such relationship between health and political behavior is vitally important from both a scholarly and a policy-making perspective and yet political scientists have only recently begun to explore the connections. The aim of the workshop is to explore the link between health and 1) political efficacy, political interest and knowledge of politics, 2) turnout, party membership, campaign activism and/or extra-electoral forms of political participation, 3) ideological orientations and/or vote choice, and 4) policy positions. We are also interested in questions such as: Have the aging of the electorate and growing health disparities increased the salience of health as a political issue for voters? What are the causal mechanisms that underlie associations between health and political behaviour? What role do factors such as socio-economic status and social capital play in mediating these relationships? How does the association between health and political behaviour vary depending on the institutional and political context?
The workshop is expected to attract not only a wide range of political scientists working with political participation, voting behavior, and political orientations and ideology, but also experts in fields such as health studies, disability studies, health sociology and social capital. Reflecting a genuinely multi-disciplinary focus, a wide range of papers that contribute to a deeper understanding of the relationship between health and political behaviour are welcome. Empirical papers can be based on quantitative data or qualitative data.
The workshop is associated with the research project “Health and Political Engagement”, funded by the Academy of Finland. One of the aims of the project is to publish a special issue in a political science journal on the relationship between health and political behavior. The workshop papers form a point of the departure for this special issue.