English title: The relationship between issues and an individual’s left–right orientation

Author(s): Wiebke Weber - W.E. Saris -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2015


The major body of the literature about left–right orientation finds that values and attitudes determine an individual’s position in the left–right dimension. Regarding values, it is assumed that these are stable over (a long period of) time, and hence affect individuals’ left–right orientation. Attitudes are usually measured as issue preferences, which can change over time, cross-nationally and also in their importance for people. Therefore, the relationship between issues and left–right orientation is less clear, and requires more research. We argue and show with data from the European Social Survey Implementing a Panel Component project (2012), conducted in the Netherlands, that the relationship between issue preferences and left–right orientation is conditioned by the importance that people give to the respective issues. Issues that are important for people affect their left–right orientation, while they can use their left–right orientation to form an opinion about an issue which they do not consider important.

Volume: 50

Issue: 2

From page no: 193

To page no: 213

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1057/AP.2014.5

Journal: Acta Politica

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