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Research Handbook on Political Partisanship

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Henrik Oscarsson and Sören Holmberg, research director and former research director of the Swedish National Election Studies, have edited a new anthology on partisanship and party identification.

Based on cutting-edge global data, the Research Handbook of Political Partisanship argues that partisanship is down, but not out, in contemporary democracies. Engaging with key scholarly debates, from the rise of right-wing partisanship to the effects of digitalization on partisanship, contributions highlight the significance of political partisanship not only in the present but in the future of democracies internationally.

A helper and a blinder

‘The Research Handbook on Political Partisanship brings new life into one of the oldest concepts of electoral research. Presenting a broad spectrum of theoretical perspectives and empirical analyses, the book is much more useful for present and future research than the literature reviews seen in many other handbooks. An updated understanding of the role of political identification today requires the in-depth discussions of its “two faces”, given in this Research Handbook. Party identification can be a “helper” and guide in a complex political landscape, but it can also be a “blinder”, barring competing views and preferences. The book argues not only for the need of parties to maintain emotional ties to their voters, but also for the need to keep party identification as an important tool for future students and scholars of political behaviour.’ 

Bernt Aardal, University of Oslo, Norway