AN INVESTIGATION OF THE DETERMINANTS OF TURNOUT IN NEW AND ESTABLISHED DEMOCRACIES

Open Access
Author:
Albone, Maxwell Hunter
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Matthew Richard Golder, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Faculty Reader
  • Matthew Richard Golder, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Voter Turnout
  • Democracy
  • Institutions
Abstract:
What explains variation in voter turnout in democracies? In particular, do the same factors that influence voter turnout in established democracies affect voter turnout in new democracies? It is important to determine the factors that influence rates voter turnout, because levels of political participation are considered key indicators of the well-being and responsiveness of democracies. It is particularly important to consider these impacts new in democracies as these countries are undergoing a critical period of political transformation. Previous literature suggests that newer democracies will be less responsive to various socioeconomic, institutional, and party system factors that affect turnout in established democracies. Contrary to my theoretical expectations, with the exception of presidentialism, there are no significant differences in how these factors influence turnout in new democracies compared to established democracies.