Partisan Hearts and Minds

Political Parties and the Social Identities of Voters

Donald Green, Bradley Palmquist, and Eric Schickler

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In this, the first major treatment of party identification in twenty years, three political scientists assert that identification with political parties still powerfully determines how citizens look at politics and cast their ballots. Challenging prevailing views, they build a case for the continuing theoretical and political significance of partisan identities.

The authors maintain that individuals form partisan attachments early in adulthood and that these political identities, much like religious identities, tend to persist or change only slowly over time. Scandals, recessions, and landslide elections do not greatly affect party identification; large shifts in party attachments occur only when the social imagery of a party changes, as when African Americans became part of the Democratic Party in the South after the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Drawing on a wealth of data analysis using individual-level and aggregate survey data from the United States and abroad, this study offers a new perspective on party identification that will set the terms of discussion for years to come.

Donald Green is A. Whitney Griswold Professor of Political Science and director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. Bradley Palmquist has taught at Harvard University and Vanderbilt University. Eric Schickler is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Instructors looking for a recent treatment of party identification—both theoretical and empirical—will find no better text. It is both accessible and rigorous.”—Barry C. Burden, Associate Professor, Harvard University

“One may disagree with the authors on significant points, but the grounding of partisanship in social identities is the most important theoretical contribution to the study of partisanship in the last two decades.”—Morris P. Fiorina, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

Partisan Hearts and Minds is a profound breakthrough in our understanding of partisan loyalties and makes a major contribution to the study of political attitudes and voting behavior.”—Paul Abramson, Michigan State University

“This book will be influential the moment it appears. It will be the starting point for all further treatments of the topic.”—Richard Johnston, University of British Columbia

"This book sets forth an argument with which all future serious studies of partisanship must contend. Although most appropriate for graduate students and faculty, it is important reading for political professionals as well. Highly recommended. Graduate collections and above."—Choice

ISBN: 9780300092158
Publication Date: August 11, 2002
288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
14 b/w illus.
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