- Choosing the enemy: attack behaviour in a multiparty system
- Party Politics
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article examines which political parties are the most likely targets of negative campaigning in a multiparty system. The choice of target is an important strategic decision parties make when deciding on their campaign strategy. The article advances existing research on negative campaigning in several ways. First, it is the only paper of its kind to statistically test which parties are most likely to be attacked in a multiparty system and in a non-US setting. Second, it contributes to the development of a general theory on negative campaigning by examining its use in a multiparty system. Finally, it presents new content analysis data on negative campaigning from ten Dutch Parliamentary elections between 1981 and 2010. The findings show that large parties, ideologically proximate parties, parties close to the median party position and government parties are the most likely targets of negative campaigning in the Dutch multiparty system.
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