The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 12: The Spatial Voting Model
The Spatial Voting Model
We first discuss spatial voting models of party-centered elections1 involving a continuum that is typically a broad Left–Right (liberal–conservative) ideological dimension which encompasses debates over income redistribution and government intervention in the economy, a major electoral cleavage in most western democracies. The Left–Right continuum is positional in that different voters prefer – and different parties advocate – different positions along this continuum. We review the assumptions that underlie the positional spatial model of elections, and then survey spatial modeling research on parties’ positional strategies in these types of elections. We describe how a fundamental spatial modeling result is that vote- or office-seeking parties are typically motivated to advocate policies near the center of public opinion, i.e., ...