Previous studies of Russia search for party identification in an all-or-nothing fashion. We adopt an alternative approach to studying the emergence of mass partisanship in new democracies. In accordance with established theories, we argue that partisanship develops over time and that evidence of partisanship in its early stages may be found in basic behavioral and attitudinal indicators. We stipulate three expectations for the emergence of partisanship: (1) attachment grows with the cumulative effect of political experience; (2) as attachment grows, other views acquire greater partisan consistency; and (3) attachments have a rational basis. Guided by these expectations, we use panel survey data from Russia's early elections to distinguish nascent partisans. Comparison of the behavior of partisans identified by our approach to the behavior of partisans identified using self-reported party identification measures raises doubts about how self-identification measures capture partisanship in this context.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations