Cross-National Measures of Political Inequality of Voice
Creators:Dubrow, Joshua Kjerulf
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Citation:Ask: Research and Methods. Volume 19, Issue 1 (2010), pp. 93-110
Social scientists have long argued that political power is a key dimension of stratification, yet few empirically analyze political inequality or explicitly discuss the methodological implications of their measures of it. Political inequality is a distinct dimension of social stratification and a form of power inequality whose domain is all things related to political processes. It is a multidimensional concept–comprised of voice, response, and policy–that occurs in all types of governance structures. Conceptions of political inequality of voice reflect the well-established finding that position within the social and political structure impacts individual and group political influence. I argue that definitions and measures of political inequality of voice should focus on the extent of influence given its connection, but not reduction, to economic resources. This article proposes and evaluates cross-national structural measures of political inequality of voice based on the relationship between socioeconomic status and political participation. I explore the relationships between the measures and the rankings of European countries using data from the European Social Survey 2008 and the Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy 2008’s “political participation” category.
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