Publication details

Affective Polarisation in a Multipartism: Party over Policy or Policy over Party?

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Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description Affective polarisation has become a prominent concept in the study of contemporary politics across diverse party systems. Yet, its sources remain ambiguous, especially in mutipartisms. Drawing from existing literature, we formulate a model outlining the primary drivers of affective polarization in multiparty systems and apply it to the Czech multiparty context. Using the 2021 Czech Election Study data, representative of the Czech voting population (n = 1,270), we explore whether affective polarisation is driven by positive or negative party affective attachments. Concurrently, we examine if ideological (dis)agreement with one's most or least preferred party provides an alternate rationale, sidelining partisan factors as the predominant influencers of affective polarization. We also explore the possibility that one hypothesized driver of affective polarization could exert its influence indirectly through the other. Our results indicate that both partisanship and ideological (dis)agreement may work as forces behind partisan affective polarization. We find little evidence of the indirect effects of partisanship through ideology and vice versa; the direct effects of both partisanship and ideological agreement dominate. Our research enriches the understanding of affective polarization in multiparty systems, delving into vertical affective polarization and offering insights into the relatively unexplored realm of Central and East European politics.
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