What’s Left of the Left–Right Dimension? Why the Economic Policy Positions of Europeans Do Not Fit the Left–Right Dimension

Otjes, S., 2018, In : Social Indicators Research. 136, 2, p. 645-662

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In political science the economic left–right dimension plays a central role. A
growing body of evidence shows that the economic policy preferences of a large segment of citizens do not scale sufficiently. Using Mokken scale analysis, this study determines the causes of this phenomenon. Differences in the extent to which the economic policy preferences of citizens fit the left–right dimension can be explained in terms of the interaction between individual level and political system-level variables: citizens who spend more attention to politicians with views that conform to the left–right dimension, have views that conform to the left–right dimension. There is also a role for the legacy of communist dictatorship: citizens who were socialised in democratic countries have views
that fit the left–right dimension better than those socialised during communism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-662
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Early online date8-Feb-2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Economic issues, Public opinion, Elite-mass linkage, Socialisation, Left-right dimension, WELFARE-STATE, ATTITUDES, EGALITARIANISM, NETHERLANDS, PREFERENCES, CHAUVINISM, ELECTIONS, VOTERS, CHOICE

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