T. van der Meer
J. van Deth
- Opkomstplicht: stimulans of frustratie? Een landenvergelijkende studie naar de gevolgen van opkomstplicht op politieke participatie
- Res Publica
- Volume | Issue number
- 52 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Compulsory voting does not only increase voting turnout; it is also expected to have positive spill-over effects. Supposedly, citizens who are obliged to cast a vote will be more engaged in politics than citizens who are allowed to avoid politics. This article reviews the main arguments for this expectation. A rival expectation is formulated based on the idea that enforcements, duties and sanctions are likely to decrease the willingness of citizens to participate politically. A cross-national multi-level empirical test - covering turnout and political participation in twenty established democracies - shows that compulsory voting indeed increases voting turnout. Yet neither positive nor negative spill-over effects for other modes of political participation can be detected. Apparently, the consequences of compulsory voting are restricted to turnout.
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