Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reviews the current literature’s findings on how political and social interactions shape voter turnout and other forms of political participation. Current studies, which use a wide range of methodological approaches, from natural experiments and surveys to mathematical modeling, have demonstrated that political networks are a crucial component of any analysis of political behavior. Debates over the potentially negative impact of political disagreement on participation have differentiated the negative impact of political isolation from the neutral impact of heterogenous political discussion environments, while also exploring factors that might moderate an individual’s response to disagreement. Many of the studies reviewed in this chapter reflect an increasing interest in how research design and analysis may be used to disentangle the various mechanisms through which networks might shape political behavior, as well as to distinguish between the relative impact of selection and influence.
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