Dr. Peffley                                           Political Science 271                  Political Behavior

Lecture Outline:  Dalton, Citizen Politics

I.          Values and Value Change (Chapt. 5)

A.  Characteristics of Political Values:

1.         At the individual level:  emotional, "easy" heuristics, value priorities predict issue positions. 

2.         At the societal level:  consensus identifies political culture.

B.   Ronald Inglehart’s Theory of Value Change in Post-Industrial Societies

1.         Major hypotheses

a)         Scarcity hypothesis: we place more value on things in short supply

b)         Socialization hypothesis: scarcity during formative years matters most and endures

c)         Shift from materialist values to postmaterialist values.

2.         Predictions

a)         Is the proportion of postmaterialists increasing in more affluent advanced industrial countries?

b)         Does the greatest shift in values occur during the transition from a subsistence to an advanced industrial economy?

c)         Are younger cohorts more postmaterialistic?

d)         Do generational differences persist over time and across the life cycle?

e)         Is the relationship between education and values stronger in countries with more inegalitarian education systems?

3.         Consequences for:

a)         The workplace

b)         Authority systems

c)         Religious values and sexual mores

d)         New social movements

e)         Changing types of political participation among postmaterialists

II.        Issues and Ideological Orientations (Chapt. 6)

A.  Domestic Issues

1.         Socioeconomic issues

2.         Race and Equality

3.         Gender issues

4.         Environmental protection

5.         Social and Moral Issues:  Not the inexorable shift toward more liberal stances in the US. Although support for abortion and rights of homosexuals has increased markedly since the early 1960s, the political activities of groups on both sides of the issues has affected smaller shifts in public opinion, to some degree.

B.   Foreign policy opinions

C.   Left/Right orientations


III.     Elections and Political Parties  (Chapt. 7)

History of Party Systems. Lipset and Rokkan maintain that two successive revolutions in the modernization of western democracies created social divisions that still structure party competition today.  Political parties “freeze” alignments, so that new alignments exist and overlay old alignments. To understand contemporary parties, we need to understand older partisan cleavages formed in an earlier era.


Modernization                   Socioecon Dev’ments                        Value Conflict               New Party

                                                                                    Group Conflict               Alignments


A.  National Revolution:

1.         Center-periphery cleavage over nation-building

2.         church-state cleavage

B.   Industrial Revolution:

1.         Land-industry cleavage.   

2.         Owners vs workers.

3.         Parties formed around these cleavages and party systems froze.

C.   Parties thawing in 60’s and 70’s creating new parties, realignment, dealignment, and volatility in the party systems of Western Europe and the U.S.  

1.         New Politics (NP) Cleavage and Old Politics (OP) Cleavage

2.         While OP remains principal cleavage, NP cuts across it. 

3.         US: Reagan and Bush attempted to create new Republican coalition of social and economic conservatives.

4.         Politics more polarized in 1980’s and 1990’s as OP and NP cleavages overlap.

5.         NP “wedge” issues to pry apart and win over opposition members

6.         Party systems in flux

IV.     Social Bases of Party Support (Chapt 8): skip

A.  Social Groups and Identifications as heuristics

B.   Post-Industrial Revolution

1.         Decline of traditional class cleavage with decline of old working class, old middle class, and rise of new middle class

2.         Convergence of party positions on class issues: less important than decline of relevance of social group as cue in voting.

3.         Decline of social bases of partisanship because group basis declining as individuals more sophisticated and able to decide issues for themselves

a)         New Politics issues don’t have a clear social basis

b)         Party Realignment along New Politics Issues less likely without social group basis for tying groups to parties.  Parties unable to “freeze” alignments through ties to social group organizations.

4.         Dealignment more likely; New Style of politics more fluid and volatile.


V.       Partisanship and Electoral Behavior (Chapt. 9)

A.  Partisanship and its impact

B.   Partisan dealignment: its causes and consequences


VI.     Attitudes and Electoral Behavior (Chapt 10)

A.  A classification of issues:  position versus performance; retrospective and prospective

B.   Position issues and the vote

C.   Performance issues and the vote

D.  Candidate Image and the vote

E.   Trends in voting behavior

VII.  Political Representation (Chapt. 11)

VIII.         Citizens and the Democratic Process (Chapt. 12)