Social identity, political speech, and electoral competition

Eric Dickson, Kenneth Scheve

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Much research in political science suggests that social identity can be an important factor in motivating behavior. If voters care about social identity, when will politicians find it in their interests to make group-based appeals? Do social identity concerns affect the policy platforms offered by candidates? In a model of political speech and electoral competition, in which voters care about both social identities and policy, we demonstrate that social identity concerns can lead to platform divergence even when the policy dimension is uncorrelated with identity. For example, policy-motivated politicians can employ identity rhetoric to obtain 'slack' in the policy dimension. Further, the need for candidates to resort to group-based appeals depends on such factors as the relative sizes of social groups; the policy preferences of group members; whether candidates care about policy and if so, their preferred policies; and the extent of individual identification with groups. The analysis demonstrates that social identity can have a striking impact on the strategic conduct of campaigns.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)5-39
    Number of pages35
    JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2006

    Fingerprint

    political speech
    candidacy
    politician
    appeal
    Group
    group membership
    divergence
    political science
    rhetoric
    campaign

    Keywords

    • Campaign rhetoric
    • Elections
    • Ethnic politics
    • Valence competition

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Social identity, political speech, and electoral competition. / Dickson, Eric; Scheve, Kenneth.

    In: Journal of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 18, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 5-39.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Dickson, Eric ; Scheve, Kenneth. / Social identity, political speech, and electoral competition. In: Journal of Theoretical Politics. 2006 ; Vol. 18, No. 1. pp. 5-39.
    @article{5bb07044d11247a2999e29b28171ce51,
    title = "Social identity, political speech, and electoral competition",
    abstract = "Much research in political science suggests that social identity can be an important factor in motivating behavior. If voters care about social identity, when will politicians find it in their interests to make group-based appeals? Do social identity concerns affect the policy platforms offered by candidates? In a model of political speech and electoral competition, in which voters care about both social identities and policy, we demonstrate that social identity concerns can lead to platform divergence even when the policy dimension is uncorrelated with identity. For example, policy-motivated politicians can employ identity rhetoric to obtain 'slack' in the policy dimension. Further, the need for candidates to resort to group-based appeals depends on such factors as the relative sizes of social groups; the policy preferences of group members; whether candidates care about policy and if so, their preferred policies; and the extent of individual identification with groups. The analysis demonstrates that social identity can have a striking impact on the strategic conduct of campaigns.",
    keywords = "Campaign rhetoric, Elections, Ethnic politics, Valence competition",
    author = "Eric Dickson and Kenneth Scheve",
    year = "2006",
    month = "1",
    doi = "10.1177/0951629806059594",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "18",
    pages = "5--39",
    journal = "Journal of Theoretical Politics",
    issn = "0951-6298",
    publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
    number = "1",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Social identity, political speech, and electoral competition

    AU - Dickson, Eric

    AU - Scheve, Kenneth

    PY - 2006/1

    Y1 - 2006/1

    N2 - Much research in political science suggests that social identity can be an important factor in motivating behavior. If voters care about social identity, when will politicians find it in their interests to make group-based appeals? Do social identity concerns affect the policy platforms offered by candidates? In a model of political speech and electoral competition, in which voters care about both social identities and policy, we demonstrate that social identity concerns can lead to platform divergence even when the policy dimension is uncorrelated with identity. For example, policy-motivated politicians can employ identity rhetoric to obtain 'slack' in the policy dimension. Further, the need for candidates to resort to group-based appeals depends on such factors as the relative sizes of social groups; the policy preferences of group members; whether candidates care about policy and if so, their preferred policies; and the extent of individual identification with groups. The analysis demonstrates that social identity can have a striking impact on the strategic conduct of campaigns.

    AB - Much research in political science suggests that social identity can be an important factor in motivating behavior. If voters care about social identity, when will politicians find it in their interests to make group-based appeals? Do social identity concerns affect the policy platforms offered by candidates? In a model of political speech and electoral competition, in which voters care about both social identities and policy, we demonstrate that social identity concerns can lead to platform divergence even when the policy dimension is uncorrelated with identity. For example, policy-motivated politicians can employ identity rhetoric to obtain 'slack' in the policy dimension. Further, the need for candidates to resort to group-based appeals depends on such factors as the relative sizes of social groups; the policy preferences of group members; whether candidates care about policy and if so, their preferred policies; and the extent of individual identification with groups. The analysis demonstrates that social identity can have a striking impact on the strategic conduct of campaigns.

    KW - Campaign rhetoric

    KW - Elections

    KW - Ethnic politics

    KW - Valence competition

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=31944438780&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=31944438780&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1177/0951629806059594

    DO - 10.1177/0951629806059594

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:31944438780

    VL - 18

    SP - 5

    EP - 39

    JO - Journal of Theoretical Politics

    JF - Journal of Theoretical Politics

    SN - 0951-6298

    IS - 1

    ER -