Partisanship and autocratization: polarization, power asymmetry, and partisan social identities in Turkey

Laebens, M. G. and Öztürk, A. (2021) Partisanship and autocratization: polarization, power asymmetry, and partisan social identities in Turkey. Comparative Political Studies, 54(2), pp. 245-279. (doi: 10.1177/0010414020926199)

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Abstract

Although theories of partisanship were developed for the democratic context, partisanship can be important in electoral autocracies as well. We use survey data to analyze partisanship in an electoral autocracy, Turkey, and find that partisanship is pervasive, strong, and consequential. Using the Partisan Identity Scale to measure partisanship, we show that, like in democracies, partisanship strength is associated with political attitudes and action. Unlike in democracies, however, the ruling party’s superior ability to mobilize supporters through clientelistic linkages makes the association between partisanship and political action weaker for ruling party partisans. We find that partisan identities are tightly connected to the perception that other parties may threaten one’s well-being, and that such fears are widespread on both sides of the political divide. We interpret our findings in light of the autocratization process Turkey went through. Our contribution highlights the potential of integrating regime dynamics in studies of partisanship.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ozturk, Mr Aykut
Authors: Laebens, M. G., and Öztürk, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Comparative Political Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0010-4140
ISSN (Online):1552-3829
Published Online:14 June 2020

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