The Irrational Electorate

 Posted by  Larry Bartels

My essay on "The Irrational Electorate" from the new issue of the Wilson Quarterly is now online. It provides an opinionated review of scholarly research on voting behavior ranging from Alex Todorov on reactions to competent faces to Hill, Lo, Vavreck, and Zaller and Gerber, Gimpel, Green, and Shaw on the duration of advertising effects to Gabriel Lenz on rationalization.  Most of the reaction so far -- from Henry Farrell , Matthew Yglesias, Brad Long, and Ross Douthat  among others -- focuses on my description of voters' responses to the Great Depression, which draws on a paper Chris Achen and I presented at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting a few years ago.  Apparently the Great Depression is a topic of particular interest these days.

About this site

The mission of Princeton’s Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at the Woodrow Wilson School is to promote empirical research on democratic processes and institutions.  That broad mandate has attracted a diverse collection of faculty, students, and visitors pursuing a wide variety of research topics. However, the American electoral process has been a recurrent focus of interest for many of the scholars associated with CSDP and a frequent topic of conferences, colloquia, and other events sponsored by the Center.  As the 2008 campaign unfolds, we thought it might be helpful and fun to collect the election-related research, analyses, and offbeat insights of our extended scholarly community, both for our own edification and as a resource for others interested in how political scientists are thinking about the election.  We welcome contributions, comments, and suggestions. For more about the people and activities of CSDP, please visit our website, http://www.princeton.edu/~csdp/. To post a comment, click the "speech bubble."

  — Larry M. Bartels, Director

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