Voting locally abstaining nationally: descriptive representation, substantive representation and minority voters’ turnout

Maoz Rosenthal*, Hani Zubida, David Nachmias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Do disadvantaged minorities turnout less when they have descriptive yet not substantive representation? When minorities have descriptive representation, their representatives’ activities and preferences might not necessarily increase minorities’ public goods’ access. With substantive representation, minority representatives pursue policies that improve minorities’ public goods’ provisions. We claim that voters’ calculus might decrease turnout in the first case and increase it in the latter case. We examine this claim in the Israeli context focusing on the Arab-Muslim minority in Israel and comparing it to the Jewish majority and Druze minority. We show that different minority representation qualities in different institutions induce different turnout behaviours across institutions within the same minority. Specifically, Muslim Arabs decreased their turnout in national elections and increased it in local elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1632-1650
Number of pages19
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Volume41
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arab Israelis
  • Descriptive representation
  • ballot-box data
  • electoral turnout
  • second-order election
  • substantive representation

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