Political Choice Matters: Explaining The Strength Of …

Political Choice Matters: Explaining The Strength Of Class And Religious Cleavages In Cross-national Perspective

Most studies of the influence of class and religion on politics in post-industrial democracies point to their gradual decline as a result of social change: the withering of class differences and increasing secularization. This book’s argument, backed up by extensive evidence from 11 case studies and a 15-country pooled analysis, is that the supply of choices by parties influences the extent of such divisions: political choice matters. Class divisions in politicalchoices are influenced by choices offered by parties on questions of inequality and redistribution, and religious divisions by strategic changes in party positions on moral issues. Although there has been some overtime decline in the links between social class, religiosity, and party choice this isless than that occurring as a result of party movements on dimensions of ideology.