Ambivalent Partisan How Critical Loyalty Promotes Democracy

ISBN-10: 0199772754

ISBN-13: 9780199772759

Edition: 2012

Authors: Howard G. Lavine, Christopher D. Johnston, Marco R. Steenbergen

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Description:

Over the past half century, two overarching questions have dominated the study of mass political behavior: How do ordinary citizens form their political judgments, and how good are those judgments from a normative perspective? The authors of The Ambivalent Partisan offer a novel approach tothese questions, one in which political reasoning is viewed as arising from trade-offs among three generally conflicting psychological goals: making decisions easily, getting them right, and maintaining cognitive consistency. Taking aim at decades of received wisdom, the central claim of this book is that high-quality political judgment hinges less on citizens' cognitive ability than on their willingness to temporarily suspend partisan habits and follow the "evidence" wherever it leads. This occurs most readily whencitizens experience a disjuncture between their stable political identities and their contemporary evaluations of party performance, a state the authors refer to as partisan ambivalence. Drawing on both experimental and survey methods - as well as five decades of American political history - theauthors demonstrate that compared to other citizens, ambivalent partisans perceive the political world accurately, form their policy preferences in a principled manner, and communicate those preferences by making issues an important component of their electoral decisions. The book's most important conclusion is that a non-trivial portion of the electorate manages to escape the vicissitudes of apathy or wanton bias, and it is these citizens - these ambivalent partisans - who reliably approximate a desirable standard of democratic citizenship.
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Book details

List price: $74.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/13/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

Partisan Ambivalence and the Contingent Nature of Political Judgment
Getting it Right, Making it Easy, and Validating Our Partisan Commitments: A Motivational Theory of Political Judgment
Matters of Conceptualization, Measurement, and Antecedents
Partisan Ambivalence and Preference Formation: Experimental and Survey Evidence
Ambivalence and the Partisan Perceptual Screen
Ambivalent Partisans at the Polls
Unmoved Mover or Rational Choice?: Ambivalence and the Dynamic Nature of Partisanship
Partisan Ambivalence, Citizen Competence, and American Democracy
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