How do municipal amalgamations affect turnout in local elections? Insights from the 2015 municipal reform in the Austrian state of Styria

Titel in Übersetzung: How do municipal amalgamations affect turnout in local elections? Insights from the 2015 municipal reform in the Austrian state of Styria

Reinhard Heinisch, Thomas Lehner, Armin Mühlböck, Christian H. Schimpf*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikel

Abstract

In this paper, we evaluate the effect of municipal amalgamations on election turnout in local elections. Following recent studies, we argue that municipal mergers can lead to less information about the election being made available to citizens and less influence for individual voters. That is, while citizens in the local context usually rely on their own direct contacts in local offices and among political candidates, the subsequent increase in population size due to a merger reduces opportunities for establishing such contacts and for having decisive influence on political decisions. Consequently, voters are less informed and less engaged, resulting in lower levels of electoral turnout in local elections. We test our argument empirically by using aggregate level data from the municipal level from the 2010 and 2015 local elections in Styria, Austria, which followed the amalgamation of some, but not all, municipalities in January 2015. The empirical results support our argument.
OriginalspracheEnglisch
Seiten (von - bis)465-491
Seitenumfang27
FachzeitschriftLocal Government Studies
Jahrgang44
Ausgabenummer4
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2018

Bibliographische Notiz

44(4) 2018

Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige 2012

  • 506 Politikwissenschaften

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